I left Najera on the bus at 1.30 pm. It was a 30 minute journey through several small villages, including one with Roman columns standing beside the road. On arriving in San Millan, I was given instructions by 2 old ladies from the bus, who had been doing their shopping in Najera. Keep going to the far end of town, they said, and you'll see the Monastery straight ahead. Like all the best monasteries, it was set in a beautiful and secluded valley.
The Hospederia is very luxurious, but very quiet. There are 9 monks still in residence, but there is no sign of them. My research into the place follows:
San Millan was born in 473 and was a lowly shepherd boy till he heard God's call. After a brief period as a priest he became a hermit and miracles started to happen in the vicinity of his cave. For example, bread was multiplied to feed crowds of worshippers. He died aged 101. (All info from Gitlitz and Davidson).
The oldest Monastery (Suso) was built supposedly on the site of San Millan's hermit cave and was a thriving religious community in 640. It was raided by Moslem forces and went up in smoke in 1002. The new Monastery of Yuso, which I visited today, on a guided tour all in Spanish, is a very Baroque place. It's contents are more interesting, with books of Gregorian Chant in their special cupboards.
Suso Monastery is on the agenda tomorrow morning.