Wine, Witches, and a Not So Near Death Experience

As my life flashed in front of my eyes Graham finally realised he’d entered the winding mountain road on the wrong side and was driving on the left. His mind had suddenly gone back into UK mode. Luckily the previously busy road had gone quiet and we escaped unharmed. Phew! (I would like to say that his driving has been very good up till this point.)
Mr Fluffy loves a French woodpile
We’d pootled along the Camino de Santiago, stopping, of course, to overnight near a free wine fountain at a monastery in Irache.
Love a free Wiiiiiiiiine
After taking of the holy drop we went on to Zugurramurdi in the witchiest Basque country, there to partake of the Museum of Witchcraft and famous caves where 17th century witches held their sabbats.
Spain's Museum of Witchcraft

Tableaux of The Inquisitors and a Captured 'Witch'

The museum was an interesting affair, mainly focusing on the history of the witch hunts in the area where several people were burned as witches when hysteria overtook the region, thanks to the doings of The Inquisition. Although light on actual artefacts they had several tableaux and audiovisual pieces which made it a very interesting visit.
Nice Skull
There is a section on local folklore, of the Basque Goddess Mari and her accompanying legendary figures, and of the political similarities of the witchhunts of the 17th Century with persecutions which have taken place later in history, such as the Nazis in Europe.
Ready for the Akelarre

On to the caves. We had visited here several years ago and pretty much had the place to ourselves as it was the middle of winter. This time it was busier but still atmospheric, especially in the Akelarre cave where the witches are said to have held their sabbats.
La Grande Grotte

These days the caves are more likely to be filled with parents taking photos of hilarious children pulling ugly faces pretending to be nasty witches.

And now, back in France, we look forward to a market or two where we can buy some fabulous cheese and practice our French.

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