VÉZÉLAY – LE CHEMIN

  

Vézelay is a medieval town in Burgundy, most famous for the Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madelaine. Legend says that Mary Magdalene is buried there. This was the reason why the town gained enormous importance during medieval times. The second and third crusade started in this town.

 

 

Basilique Saint-Marie-Madeleine

Basilique Saint-Marie-Madeleine

 

 

Choir of the Basilica with early Gothic rib vaulting

Choir of the Basilica with early Gothic rib vaulting

 

 

Before I started my pilgrimage walk, I visited the Romanesque church and was intrigued by it’s great art and architecture. The celebration of the mass, done by the Brothers and Sisters of Jerusalem, was a celebration of sitting in silence for a long period of time. It reminded me of Zazen.

 

 

Sisters of the Order of Jerusalem. This order was founded to bring silence, peace and joy into the “desert” of modern cities.

Sisters of the Order of Jerusalem. This order was founded to bring silence, peace and joy into the “desert” of modern cities.

 

 

Rue St. Ètienne in Vézelay

Rue St. Ètienne in Vézelay

 

Vézelay is a town of roses and flowers. On a slope outside of the city wall, forest strawberries were growing in abundance.

 

 

Forest strawberries

Forest strawberries

 

 

Wheatfield with puppies and Vézelay in the background

Wheatfield with puppies and Vézelay in the background

 

On my first day, I walked 16 miles or more. It was hot and I got lost several times. I followed the symbol of the way – a yellow shell on a blue background. But sometimes I could not find the marker or the markers were unclear.

 

 

Symbol of the trail

Symbol of the trail

 

 

Getting lost on the way with no symbol in sight

Getting lost on the way with no symbol in sight

 

The smell of the many roses in the villages, the big fields and the vast sky were my constant companions.

 

 

Rose garden in Saint-Père-sous Vézelay

Rose garden in Saint-Père-sous Vézelay

 

 

Passing the River Cure on a 18th century stone bridge

Passing the River Cure on a 18th century stone bridge

 

 

I loved the abundance of foxglove growing along the w

I loved the abundance of foxglove growing along the way

 

 

In the evening, I arrived in Le Chemin and stayed in the newly opened Refuge “L’Ésprit du Chemin,” a place for pilgrims to spend the night. The warm welcome by the Dutch couple Hubert and Arnold was fantastic.

 

 

Refuge “L’Ésprit du Chemin” with Huberta

Refuge “L’Ésprit du Chemin” with Huberta

 

 

Sharing a wonderful meal together

Sharing a wonderful meal together