Group 3 — Chad, Nadia and Sarah
After many travel trials, we made it to Roncesvalles and stayed in a lovely hotel called La Posada de Roncesvalles. For our first activity we hiked over rolling hills to the Roland Monument near the border of France. While we were there we saw a twelfth century hospital next to an active archeological dig.
The archeologists had just discovered pottery from the first century and they allowed us to hold and analyze the pieces in our own hands. Visiting the dig was like being at a crossroads in time as we saw evidence of land being reused and changing with its environment. As we continued the hike we came across bunkers from 1930s which we were able to explore. Once again a reminder that this landscape has been through trial and tribulations and still managed to maintain its beauty.
After an exhausting hike we were more than happy to participate in a pilgrimage dinner in the hotel dining hall where we met many other pilgrims from around the world. It was our first real dinner as a group after the travel fiasco and it lived up to our high expectations.
We left dinner early to attend a service and pilgrimage blessing at Nuestra Señora de Roncesvalles held almost entirely in Spanish. Afterwards we attended a tour of the cathedral which was yet another spectacular trip backwards in time. It was a great start to an incredible journey; we can’t wait to see what’s in store.