Sabbatical Pilgrimage

On May 27, 2011, we will lock our front door and set off on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, in northwestern Spain. We'll fly to Paris... Take a high speed train (TGV) to Bayonne, France... Change to a slower train that will take us to St. Jean Pied de Port, in the foothills of the Pyrenees -- where our walk begins. On May 29, Sunday, we will set out on foot for our 500-mile walk across Northern Spain.

The Camino de Santiago is a centuries-old pilgrimage trail. We join millions of pilgrims who have walked this path over the years.

Journey with us, as we post pictures and highlights of our adventure.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


We walked through 2 small villages today, then a long time through vinyards and olive groves. Along the way we kept seeing these little stone shelters, one-room hermitages which were occupied centuries ago by... well, hermits. We arrived in Viana at about 2:30 to find the streets crowded with people of all ages, all dressed up, and lots of boys and girls in beautiful suits and dresses. It was the day of First Communion. It's now 9:00 at night and the party is still going on in the streets.

We have had time to walk around this beautiful village. The main church, Iglesia de Santa Maria de la Asuncion, is closed because it's Sunday (!) but we saw the ruins of Iglesia San Pedro, which had been the oldest church in Viana, built in the early 13th century. But its roof collapsed in 1843, and now it's just walls around a city park. In front of the Iglesia de Santa Maria is the tomb of Cesar Borgia.

One thing we are enjoying quite a bit is getting to know some of the other pilgrims. We have met people from all over the world, and encounter the same people over and over again when we stop for meals or snacks, and when we are in the towns where we stay. There is Carmen from Canada, Rosa and Adriana from Italy, Gabriel and Agnes from Korea, and even a group from Minnesota, one of whom took violin lessons from Sister Pat at St. Anne's, and one of whom is an Episcopal priest now serving as chaplain at Emery University in Atlanta. Small world.

Tomorrow -- on to Navarette!

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