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Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Shalom and Greetings from Jerusalem,

First rain and cold of the year, well for us cold, most people would call it coolish. Can't walk and train for the Camino so might as well read about Santiago. Deep into the Charlemagne legendsfound in "The Pilgrimage To Santiago in the Middle Ages" by Maryjane Dunn and Linda Kay Davidson, a compilation of medieval texts. Up pops Nájera, not my favorite place, the night spent in municipal albergue there all but erased my wonderful visit to Santa María la Real of Nájera where I was lucky enough to see the choir and woodwork by joining a group of visiting clergymen. The forged document, known as the Pseudo-Turpin chronicle relates interesting folktales concerning Charlemagne and Roland, the dynamic duo are presented as freeing Northern Spain from the Moors, capturing Santiago and building the first church there. A nice story but we know that Charlemagne went south and captured Catalunya and Barcelona, not Santiago, further he died in 814 while the first church in SdC was built in 829, and lastly he got his sitting down place kicked after the Pamplona fiasco by the Basques on his way back home. Not arguing, "Just the facts. Ma'am" said Joe Friday. Nájera? Roland met there a giant, one Ferracutus, and after a day long battle between the two champions, a draw was declared and the two went off to rest, Roland offering the giant a rock for a pillow and in return, the giant revealed that he was invincible except for his navel. Next morning the fight resumes, Roland pokes him in the bellybutton, whereby Ferracutus gives up the ghost-a Frankish rendition of David and Goliath. A good beddy-bye story proving that it is never a good idea to dig too deeply into legend, better to just enjoy them. There was a Jewish presence in Najera, despite "pogroms" in 1360 and again 1367, the final straw of 1492 finished them off. All that remains is an alley named Rua Judios which is about 8 meters long and the Restaurante Bodegón la Judería, but somehow an eatery named the Ghetto Inn did not attract me.
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