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.
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.
Vézelay is a town of roses and flowers. On a slope outside of the city wall, forest strawberries were growing in abundance.
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.
The smell of the many roses in the villages, the big fields and the vast sky were my constant companions.
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.