It was getting late in the afternoon in the Basque town of Guernica and I had to make a decision. The main albergue was full and I had to choose if I wanted to stay at another that was “packed” with just a bed or two available, or climb the hill to another over 10 kilometers away. There was an albergue in the rural village of Pepiena, but if that was full, I could be in some trouble with a lack of daylight and energy. I’ll make a decision soon, but wait! Our visit to Guernica is not over yet!
I left my last post, On and Off the Camino del Norte in Guernica, Spain, at the Church of Santa Maria after a very touching and inspiring walk around this modern, historically important town. Here is one of the lesser know churches, the Iglesia y Convento de Santa Clara. I can’t seem to find any information online.
Not far from the Biscayan Assembly House is the Park of the Peoples of Europe, which is also known as the Peace Park. Whether you’re visiting Guernica as a tourist or a pilgrim, you can’t miss it. Let’s take a look around…
You will find sculptures by World-renowned artists in the Park of the Peoples of Europe. This is Monument to the Martyrs of Oradour-sur-Glane by Fenosa. Oradour-sur-Glane is a village in France, known for its destruction and slaughter of most of its men, women, and children in 1944 by the German Waffen-SS.
Cast in bronze and installed in 1988, this is “Large Figure in Shelter” by Henry Moore. This was Mr. Moore’s last piece of work before he passed away.
The Monument to Peace by the Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida was commissioned by the Basque Government to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Bombing of Guernica. Mr. Chillida is well-known for his work and his sculptures can be found in many European cities including San Sebastián, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, and Frankfurt. He even has a sculpture outside the Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas.
After the park, I decided to keep walking and was on my way with a good climb ahead. Good-bye Guernica. I had a wonderful, long-anticipated visit and hope to return one day.
One of the many modern apartment buildings near the edge of the town.
The Camino quickly enters a rural area with a hill ahead that we soon have to climb.
Although the trail is rough in many spots, it’s easy to follow.
There was about 250 meters of elevation gain which was tiring late in the day, especially when I wasn’t feeling well.
I don’t show any but the trail was popular with hikers and a few trail runners.
I’m not sure about ancient, but this is a very old bollard or Camino marker on the left.
We shall stay left here.
Nearing the village of Gerekiz.
Under the highway in Gerekiz. With 2.2 kilometers left to the albergue, I was getting very tired.
The tiny Ermita de San Esteban de Gerekiz.
Finally, I made it to Pepiena. However, the Camino went left and there was a 250 meter walk to the albergue. Usually, I wouldn’t consider walking so far off the Camino unless there was a monument. In this case, being so late into the evening, I didn’t have a choice.
With the albergue just ahead, I really hoped there was a bed available…
Not only was there a bed available, I had the entire room to myself. The place was clean and the owner was very friendly.
The Albergue Eskerika is 10.3 kilometers from Guernica and it is an alternative if you want a quiet place to stay. Just remember, there is a good climb out of Guernica and you certainly don’t want to arrive if the albergue is full or closed (check a current guide). Please join me on my next post, On the Camino del Norte, Pepiena to Lezama, Spain, as we continue walking in the hills west of Guernica on the way to another important Camino town, Bilbao.
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