Friday, October 22, 2010

Trekking in Ancient Aragón

I recently hiked to a powerful sacred place, the old monastery of San Juan de la Peña in the northern reaches of Aragón province in Spain.

Close to the Pyrenees and on the traditional Camino Aragones, the Aragón Road is a road to Santiago de Compostela that is less traveled today. But in the Middle Ages it was a commonly taken alternative route over the Pyrenees to the one further east, the Camino Frances or French Road, that passes through St-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles. This one crosses the more trying Somport Pass to Canfranc and across amazing mountain landscapes and little-known Romanesque churches to meet the Camino Frances in Puente la Reina, just southwest of Pamplona.

In the Middle Ages, as well as today, San Juan de la Peña  has been a side pilgrimage a pilgrim could take to a beautiful Mozarabic and Romanesque monastery. It is built into a stone shelter overlooking a magical, largely indigenous forest.

The hike to get there offers a taste of a more remote pathway on the Camino, one that can really tune you in to your sacred inner work while being on a remarkable spiritual outer journey. When I hiked it this autumn, blackberries were ripening and a clever fox was gorging on them, leaving his purple-colored scat all along the pathway, alerting me to the fact that other creatures also use this trail to get to their bliss.

More insights into exploring places in sacred Spain can be found in The Spiritual Traveler Spain—A Guide to Sacred Sites and Pilgrim Routes,

No comments:

Post a Comment