Yes I know it is a clever name for a tour but that’s exactly where we are going. We started in Rome at the tomb of Ignatius Loyola and are finishing up by singing in the place where he was born in 1491. So tomb…to…womb. I’m thinking tee-shirts, what do you think?
Let me be brief because we spent most of the day on the bus with our friend Jaime our bus driver. The journey was long and involved 2 pee breaks in the middle of nowhere and one lunch stop in Zaragoza, the capital of the kingdom of Aragon. The first pee break was in the middle of what I can only describe as the desert. The lady in the shop kept saying Hola! over and over again like a robot. The most shocking thing that happened was that two of our adult women actually used the men’s room because of the line in the ladies room. Shocking I tell you, shocking.
For lunch we stopped in Zaragoza…during siesta time (1-4 p.m.). The only things open were cafes all the stores were shuttered. They had even stopped sand blasting the huge cathedral. I kinda wish we had that custom. I’ve noticed that after lunch in Rome and in Spain, I have wanted to nap. Maybe it’s age or maybe the Spaniards have it right.
We blew through Pamplona as I gave a running account on the bus P.A. about the battle there and how Ignatius got severely wounded in the battle against the French. And how idiots don white shirts and red bandanas and run through the streets with bulls chasing them.
We climbed into the Pyrenees Mountains searching for Azpetia, the hometown of Ignatius. Driving the big bus through narrow gorges we almost gave up when our driver, Jaime, got directions. Seems that the town was about a mile away and so was Castle Loyola. Our Hotel is two short blocks away. This hotel by the way is wonderful. It has a tub. Yeah.
Dinner was at a Basque restaurant and was terrific. I love food. Interestingly enough, to demonstrate the ethnic differences between Spain and the Basque country, the World Cup was on and Spain was battling Chile. The game was on in the restaurant but no one but us was watching it. There were no Spanish flags like we saw in Barcelona. There were only the blue and white Basque flag here and there. Back at the hotel, the locals were watching jai-lai. So there we are.
A full day of traveling, a nice hotel and meal with our bus driver. Tomorrow it is off to the Castle then to the beach. Sunday we sing at Mass at St Ignatius Church here in Loyola Country…then home on Monday. I learned how to say “Thank you” in Basque…I am so clever.
And so it goes….