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St. Stephen's chapel, near Pamplona

St. Stephen's chapel, near Pamplona

You will pass this little jewel enroute to Pamplona. A Must stop.
This place is very special! It was one of the highlights of the Camino for me! Did you get to ring the bell?
No... But we posted notes. After that steep climb and hearing the music..... Well it was amazing.
Oh, that's too bad! Yes, it is a very steep climb! There were 3 of us who trekked up the hill. The church was locked, but there was a note on the door saying to go around to the house. The lady came out and let us in. I loved the notes and how they had all the information in so many languages. As I stood there reading, she tapped me on the shoulder and told me to go up the stairs and ring the bell on the left one time. I believe she said the bell is from the 1100's! It was such an amazing moment to be up there alone with that ancient bell reverberating in my chest and looking out the valley. But then my two friends came up and got to do it too. I thought maybe I was special for a moment!
You were all special for that moment. We were tired.... Remember you arrive here the third of three tough days. When I turned the corner and heard that beautiful music ... It brought tears. The chapel was open with a man and his grandson welcoming us. I saw pilgrims overcome with emotion. I just hope anyone walking the camino France's doesn't miss this special place. Another is St nicolas chapel out of castrojirez. Buen camino!
I took many detours, one of the most memorables ones ocurred in Lintzoain. I decided to take a bit of a detour to explore their 13th Century Romanesque Church (Iglesia de San Saturnino) made of pink sandstone. It was located at the highest point in town and you could see the pink glowing from a distance as pilgrims would had seen it back in the 13th century! I had to visit! It was beautiful and a nice break.
The preparations for the communal supper are memorable and do a wonderful job of introducing pilgrims to each other. I have been there twice after numerous stays at Palo de Avellano in Zubiri.

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