Today was a well needed day of rest. After trekking through the countryside, my body could not take any more abuse. Health wise, I am fine with the exception of a mild cough and one blister, I am fairing a lot better than some of my fellow pilgrims. Perhaps it is the amount of prayer. Now I get why people go to cloisters. It is totally contemplative and you are always deep in prayer and thought. Of course, I am not that disciplined so I will not be joining any time soon.
After a crazy night of frustration with the cell phone, I went back to the department store this morning, well maybe early afternoon and found that my AT&T phone (iPhone) is locked. It is not supposed to be locked but boy they will hear it from me when I get back. The iPad SIM card is fine so I am not bent out of shape about it and only hope that if I have an airline issue, they will contact me via email rather than calling.
Today I wanted to share a little history of Pamplona. The drawbridge gate at the entrance to the city after crossing the Rio Arga (Arga River) was known as the Portal of France. The photo I have of the sign will tell you more as it is too much to write. It is an ancient gate however and you may see from the photos the giant wheels of chain that it took to open the gate.
On my agenda today was to visit at least two places of interest. You could easily spend a week here hitting the entire inner city. First I went to the Cathedral of Pamplona. It looked vaguely familar and perhaps we did visit there in 2011 but I enjoyed it a second time nonetheless. One of the wonderful things about being a pilgrim is that the prices are slashed to encourage visitation. I will post a few photos of the Cathedral.
After a self guided tour, I wanted to go to the Museum of Navarre however it was closed for the siesta period so I visited some other churches, had a bite to eat with Leon and then went back at 5pm when they opened. One of the works of art that I was excited to see was the Goya’s Marquis of San Adrian. Photos without flash were allowed so I indulged myself in the enjoyment of the view and have the photo to share. The church next to the museum is another magnificant work of art. Every church and cathedral here shows a fortaste of Heaven on Earth. The attention to detail is amazing. You will see a photo of a saint that had her breasts cut off. I never knew of this saint and had to cringe when viewing the painting.
Walking back to my hotel along the Calle Mayor, I stopped by St. Saturin. A baptism was going to take place at one of the side altars. I had just taken a photo of the altar. St. Saturin was also called St. Cernin. He was the first bishop of Toulouse (France) in the middle of the third century. According to the brochure, he sent his disciple Saint Honestus of Nines to Pamplona to proclaim the Gospel. Later, he went himself he came to the city where he converted the first Christians, among them St. Fermin, who would become the first Bishop of Pamplona. The chapels surrounding the main altar are gorgeous.
Finishing with the photos as I need to sleep for the 23K trek to Puente la Reina tomorrow. This is the same walk I did back in 2011 when I was here for World Youth Day. I know first hand how steep it is so will need all my strength. I am keeping all of you in prayer. Please do the same for me.