Markina-Xemein to Guernica. 24.7km.
Yesterday was tough. Last night I woke up and just had the intuition that our bodies needed a Rest Day. Given I had already booked several nights ahead, we decided to take a couple of buses to Guernica today. First bus to Lekeito costs Euro 2.70 for both of us; second bus to Guernica was Euro 3.00. I estimated we traveled about 30 km or so, as it was a circuitous route.
As we made our way to the bus depot this morning, we had time to visit the nearby church. This caused us to ponder that sometimes, we are missing some of the town’s highlights. But given this is a pilgrimage for us, that’s a non-issue. When one arrives late in the evenings, one is typically too tired out. And as mentioned previously, there’s the Camino ‘rhythm’ of washing, reflections, etc.
Net, we are treating Day 6 as our Rest Day, taking the bus to the next stop. And exploring what Gurnica has to offer. We didn’t realize what treats were in store not the significance of Guernica. Only the Camino can work this out for us.
We got into Guernica at 11.45am. We decided to make our way to the cultural center where the Assembly used to meet and with some historical artifacts. Including the Tree of Gurnica! The attendant asked if we had an appointment, and when he realized we were Americans, he welcomed us to visit the center without charge nor appointment! What providence.
We walked a bit around the town center, which was lively. Lots of people gathered in cafes and restaurants, having drinks and pincos. There were plenty of shops too.
Just before 7pm, Joon was prompted to get us outside. We walked to the center and heard the church bells marking the hour. We saw a man outside an open door at the Iglesia Santa Maria. We approached and realized there was an evening mass in Spanish! Great Providence that we were able to celebrate.
In summary, we recovered in multiple dimensions – physically, emotionally and spiritually.