How do you spell relief?

I spell relief S-P-A-I-N. Everyone needs a get away place. I need a getaway country. It’s the Iberian Pennisula. I have yet to find a place here that I dislike. That’s a hard thing to say about any country. Perhaps I have rose-colored glasses, but if so I’ve had them for a long time.

Follow our rector-elect Marek Zabriskie as he travels around Spain on the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage this month.
Read all of Marek’s blog posts here.


My good friend Javier Sorribes met me at the airport at 6:30 am. My flight arrived early and I cleared customs in 30 seconds. Amazing! Life should always be this easy.

Javier is battling chronic fatigue syndrome and leukemia. He’s a mensch to pick me up and give a ride to the hotel. He feels the most pain in the mornings. I did not know. So sorry for him and all who suffer from pain and illness.

We later toured El Museo de Bellas Artes after I had visited the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum’s Boudin and Monet special exhibit. Madrid is one of the world’s art meccas.

Javier and I met at the Guemes Albergue on the Camino del Norte in 2016. He loves the Camino as much as I do, but thinks that I have visited more of Spain than he has. He’s probably right. It was so good to catch up with him.

Two years ago, we hiked all day to and from the remote village of Tresviso — population 24 — where all of the Picon cheese in Spain is made. I’ll never forget it. Life is all about making good friends. It’s one of the most important lesson that the Camino teaches those of us who need to relearn the basics of life and relearn why God put us here.

At 6:30 pm Joanna Wivell, our outstanding tour guide, and pilgrimage co-leader Nancy Hoxie Meade, and I welcomed our pilgrims from across the United States. They are a very bright, sophisticated group of travelers. We are so excited to walk parts of the Camino with them.

Author, historian and journalist Giles Tremlett, who wrote for “The Guardian” for 15 years, Gave a moving and poignant talk about how the Spanish Civil War took a toll on this great nation, which left the people of Spain sentenced to silence and forever unable to speak about and confront what happened. I think that the Anglican Pilgrim Centre, which Bishop Carlos Lopez envisions for Santiago de Compostela, could offer every pilgrim coming off the Camino a place of hospitality, welcome, and worship and a vision reconciliation at the end of the journey. We’ve got to make this dream come true!

-MZ, 9/18/18