Today we had a 7 hour drive to Lourdes, with a 4 hour stop in Burgos, Spain.
If the photos of Burgos look familiar, Fr. Jim Kauffmann and I stayed here four years ago when we walked the Camino of Santiago de Compostella. It was great to be back and to share this lovely city with the group. The Camino is such a wonderful memory and this visit help bring it all back. There were many pilgrims wandering about, easily identifiable from their backpacks and disheveled appearance, and I chatted with a few hearing where they were from and how the walk was going. I wished them Buen Camino as they do on the Camino.
There was some confusion about the time of our tour of the cathedral since there were three weddings scheduled. After Mass we had an early lunch and the women were excited to see the wedding parties arrive. I was happy I wasn’t doing them. We had to sample the Sangria.
As you can see from the photos, the cathedral is a masterpiece. Dedicated to Our Lady of Burgos, it was begun 1n 1441 and completed in its current configuration in 1560. The retablos (altar pieces), even in small chapels, are overwhelming in size and awash with gold leaf. The cathedral was a beauty to behold. Unfortunately, today it is more of a museum than a church, and its age and design makes it expensive to keep up. It is a UNESCO cultural site, as is the Camino itself.
After the ever important bathroom break, we headed north to the sliver of Spain, the Basque region, that is in the foothills that skirt Biscayne Bay and finally delivers you to France via the Pyrenees Mountains. Great views, but many saw them through closed eyelids weary from the journey.
We arrived in Lourdes just in time for a quick dinner and to see the candlelight procession already in progress. More about Lourdes tomorrow.