Day 6 Know Your Body

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.

This relief map shows our journey from Deba (right) to Markina-Xemein (left). The green colored areas represents the high elevation. Thus 85% (guesstimate) of route was in mountains.

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.

Casa de Juntas (Assembly Building)
Interior view of Assembly
Ceiling mural in one of the halls. All the borders are depictions off the various parishes, partial view seen on left border! The oak tree is very symbolic.
A sapling of the old oak tree where for centuries, lords swore loyalty to the nation’s fueros (charter)
Due to the Nazi’s bombing of Guernica in April 1937, the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso painted this piece and named it ‘Guernica’ to drift the horrors of war. A tapestry copy hangs outside the UN Security Council’s meeting chambers.

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.

A life sized sculpture that I was moved to pray in front of.

In summary, we recovered in multiple dimensions – physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Author: Ben & Joon

Residents in the great Pacific North West. Living life as it happens, learning our purpose and trail blazing our own paths. Namaste.

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