We simply walked the road (no other option). We enjoyed the fine walking weather, and the views were spectacular, so we just put the road walking issue aside and moved on (cautiously). The iconic view of the serrated rock formations came quickly today and stayed with us as we walked from one side around to the other, where the monastery is. There is no denying the impact that walking into this sanctuary creates. It is a holy place that just grips you as you enter. We swiveled our heads around trying to see every stunning view at once. Very hard on the neck, thank you very much. But, stunning it is. We stopped by the pilgrim office to get our credentials stamped, and they asked if we needed a place to sleep. We explained we had a reservation in the Hotel Abat Cisneros right next door. I mention this as the Benedictines are committed to showing pilgrims true hospitality. I can't imagine any pilgrim arriving here, asking for lodging, being denied. A bed would be found somewhere.
We walked next door to our hotel, found that the lady who handles check ins was indisposed for a bit so we dropped our gear and headed to the basilica for a look around and, of course, to hear the boy's choir at 1:00. It was a short program of two songs that were sung beautifully. What a way to walk into town. Returning to the hotel we splurged on an à la carte lunch which was just perfect. After lunch we retreated to our room to unpack and clean up. Pilgrim chores still had to be done. Our next event for the day would be to attend vespers at 6:45 with the monks and the boy's choir singing the service. And so it went just a gorgeous day filled with splendid scenery, beautiful music, and prayer. Throw in a great meal and the day was as perfect as anyone could hope for. After the vespers we walked the now almost vacant plaza, gazed down (way down I'm telling you) to the lights in the distant villages and towns below, and just drew in the unique peace of this place. What a day!
So happy to learn that you and Robin have arrived safely at this VERY special place!ReplyDelete
Amazing photographs. Love your descriptions. This sounded like wonderful camino experience. Thank you for sharing. Safe journey home.ReplyDelete
For sure, the high point of the walk. Just magnificent! What an impression it leaves us.ReplyDelete