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2012 Stamps on the St James route

31 Mars 2013, 01:34am

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Last year's stamps





The French Post Office printed stamps in winter 2013. Do you remember those of 2012 ?


They were just as nice : The St James tower in Paris leads the way. A starting point for yersterday and today's pilgrims, it is also a target for those who come from the north.



Let's hope that the Post Office will go on printing such stamps again and again.

There are so many beautiful spots on the Way !


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Lectures about the Way of St James

16 Mars 2013, 21:53pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Lectures are being given in the Paris area by the writer of this blog.


Here are some confirmed dates:

March 20 and 29

19: 30 pm at the Maison des Associations IV, 3, rue de Lesdiguieres in Paris (75)

April 5

20 h 00 Centre Administrative Juvisy sur Orge (91)

April 26

19 h 00 at Salle Paul Vaillant-Couturier Bagneux (92)

Other meeting days are planned ...

The content of these meetings is particularly aimed at people who want to inform themselves on the route, on long distance walking, on going on a pilgrimage, and the happy consequences which could well result in...

A big thank you to Claire, Soazig, Michel, as well as photographers and film director who contributed to the visual, including Mathieu Rivrin. This "light sensor" presents his photographs in a social network: https://www.facebook.com/Mathieu.Rivrin.photographies



See you soon!

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The Way of St James in Brussels

6 Mars 2013, 19:18pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com



Brussels is not afraid to show its Way of St James.


(Soon a surprise in a future post).




  On the Way of St James in Brussels Photo J F F 


Night and day, Brussels is not afraid to show its Way of St James, needless to repeat it. In locations that are as picturesque as  the Louvain street, the la Montagne (a hill) street, the Grand-Place, the Marché au charbon (coal market) street, you have been able to see beautiful bronzemarks on the ground for more than 7 years.


48 nails guide the hiker - pilgrim through Brussels towards Santiago de  Compostela. A double direction, by the way. A few steps after the Notre Dame du Bon Secours church, the bronze marks line split : one branch leads to the Anderlecht Gate, south - west, close to the Saint James district, the other one leads you to Hal Gate. A proud gate that stands at the exit of the old town. Soon, in another article there will be a surprise in the area of that Gate...      PORTE-DE-HAN-ET-CLOU-P1010008--BIS-copie-1.JPG



In a nutshell the belgian capital has 163 210 "bruxellois". There is 1 nail for 3400 inhabitants.


Paris is closer to Santiago, has a St James district as well as many Jacobean traces too. The same Way winds its  route through the City of Light. If the City council of the French capital (2 000 000 people) equipped its streets in the same proportions, 588 nails would be needed !


Compostelle 2000, the Pilgrims Association in Paris proposes 350 nails and three signs. It's about time to show the Way of St James.


Several other towns of the same Way have their bronze marks : Tours, Saint Avertin, Chatellereault, Poitiers, Margaux, Le Bouscat, Bordeaux, Gradignan. Not to mention many other places in France !


Link to the post on bronze signs at Tours

Link to the signs at Margaux

Link to the signs at Bordeaux

Link to the signs at Talence

Link to the signs at Otrott

Link to the December 2010 walk dedicated to the projet in Paris


When will Paris be equipped ?

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Blisters apart on the Way of St James

22 Février 2013, 22:22pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Healthy first



  Léonard da Vinci school, Study

There isn't any bad part in your body. Look at your feet, for instance. You might think they look ugly, and they stink as soon as you "forget" to wash them.


But they are incredible machines : no wonder they are closer to the heart than to the head.


Together the walker's feet (pilgrim or hiker) get in contact with the ground one after the other. While they touch the earth, owing to the movement and the weight of the body, the low parts of the feet are pressed. The blood and the lymph are sent upwards to the legs and further up. A walker has therefore a much better blood circulation. Good for the veins, excellent for the upkeeping of the organs. More oxygen, and more nutrients are sent to the cells. As a result your body may fight against germs much easier.


Your feet are acting like healthy pumps. They are not only movement devices, they entirely take part to the balance of the whole system.


Have you noticed that when walking on long distances you are less hungry than the rest of the year ? Any connection with the pumping function of the feet ?


Let's go a little further, to the reflexologist's. The chinese  doctors have discovered long ago that there are zones of the feet that correspond with many parts of the body. A pressure on these points helps you feel better.


The feet are very intelligent parts of the body. One should respect them, like them, admire them for all the good job they do.


And they can take you far,


far away...






Thanks to Marc, Doctor of medecine.


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2013 stamps about the Way of St James

13 Février 2013, 15:06pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

French Post Office, congratulations ! 




Yes, congratulations to the Post Office who are issuing 4 new stamps about the Ways of Saint James and dedicated to their monuments.


The Tour Saint Jacques (St James Tower) in Paris last year was shown on the right spot of an previous issue. In 2013, the Paris Way is represented in the shape of the Aulnay church. Aulnay is a village west of France with 1500 inhabitants, and busts one of the purest romanesque churches ever. Gorgeous proportions, and extraordinary sculptures with an Eastern influence that can be seen in the style of the ornaments or the topics themselves such as elephants ! They will be explained in a future post.


F06.Aulnay.2181.jpg    Chemins_Compostelle_BF_2013-DETAIL-AULNAY-.jpg

Ph. Jochen Jahnke


Aulnay lies 33 km after Melle and 23 km on foot before Saint-Jean-d'Angély where a Royal Abbey stood in the 15th century.


Do you collect stamps ? First selling day on feb 22, 2013.


Stamps available in all post offices on the 25th..

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Path Works on the Paris Way of St James

26 Janvier 2013, 14:18pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Beware Track Works 




  good guidebooks are accurately written. However changes sometimes occur on the Way of St James. Here is a temporary modification of the track due to the construction of the fast train railtrack. In a few years, one will get from Bordeaux to Paris in 2 hours and 17 minutes only. The duration will be the same in the other direction, as far as we know...

A huge building site  is in operation for the TGV (high speed train) called with an incredible originality, LGV (high speed line).

Contrast : the place where our Path at Low Speed ​​(CPV) meets this site is a few steps away from a "menhir" a standing stone that has just brought us back to the prehistoric times. We are in Touraine, south of Sainte Maure, before approaching Poitou and the crossing of the River Creuse, north of Chatellerault.

So what do you do to get through this turbulence with the sight of bulldozers, trucks and shovels?

Not much. Our correspondent in Touraine, Jean Luc Huguet, whom we thank, gives us the solution with the plan above: after crossing the N10, continue straight along the red course entitled deviation. And continue to Parigné, The Nauzerolles and then the Clémencerie and Draché. To better see the map, zoom. Rotate the mouse wheel while holding the Ctrl button pressed.


Bon Chemin !

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A mended stained glass window on the Way of St James

24 Décembre 2012, 12:28pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Computers are better than the real thing !


Two weeks ago we all learnt that in the Trinity Church of Vendôme, St James was not dressed the right way !



Upside down Ph. J F F

The low part of the dress and the coat was upside down. Shall we ask the Monuments Historiques, a very traditional institution that rules the preservation of heritage in France solve that problem ?

Forget it, it would take too long and it is useless now with photoshop. Just look at your computer and you'll see the stained glass window as it should be. 



 3 colours Ph. J F F


The way the window should look like is this (more or less) :



All is right  Ph. J F F


The pilgrims can resume their pilgrimage with peace in mind


on the Paris - Tours Way of St James.


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Way of Saint James 2012 The person of the year

11 Décembre 2012, 18:15pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

    Isabelle Kyndt


In 2012, the person of the year for sure is Mrs Isabelle Kyndt, the head of the Tourist Office at Massy.



Oh Happy day ! Ph. J F F 


She's been welcoming the pilgrims for a while.


"Some of them just walk along Nationale 20 road (route d'Orléans on the map above) which is unpleasant and may be dangerous!" she says.


The ones who leave from the St James Tower in the hub of Paris and decide to go wisely on their first walking day via Montrouge and the Coulée Verte park (green space exactly north of Massy on the map above) get to Massy after 15 km. (9 miles or so)


Others, coming from further north, may have slept at Saint Denis (in families homes). In one day, they can in a straight line cross Paris and follow the same route. 25 km (16 miles)


A great smile welcomes them until 5 p.m. at the Tourist Office. There, they might find a place to sleep at some other families.


"I feel so sorry, says Mrs Kyndt, when I can't find a good solution, for instance if I am not advised of their arrival early enough to accomodate them!"


So why is Mrs Kyndt the person of the Year ?


On september 30, 2012,  inauguration of a great bronze shell conceived by a woman, a sculptor, Nicole Servais.



Between Paris and Tours Ph J F F



In front of the Tourist Office  Ph. J F F


Design, molding, finishing, installation, organization of local walks, establishment of a discussion meeting, animation, storytelling session, creation of gastronomic specialties, launching of a website, exhibition, and finally opening, Ms. Kyndt  imagined, organized, supervised it all with an attentive and caring eye.



Ph. J F F


Today this 1.5 foot large shell welcomes the pilgrims and recalls that in old Massy the Great European Cultural Itinerary winds its way. A bronze mark dedicated to the Way of St James is set on the ground of the Paris region for the first time


At last the Camino starts to be celebrated in the area of the capital of France.

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Way of St James A mistaken stained glass window

8 Décembre 2012, 23:07pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com




You should learn how to get dressed



Vendôme, a few steps south of Châteaudun is on the way to Compostela. A chapel of St. Jacques, an alignment of bell-towers, a fortified gate, a castle, an extraordinary welcoming population when you get in contact with the local associations.

Vendôme lies after Cloyes, before Chateau-Renault. It is by the river Loir (without e).















Trinity  Ph J F F

The Abbey Church of the Holy Trinity shows an amazing flamboyant gothic style into which the light flows endlessly.

When you look at the 16th century window that boasts St James, sided by St Christopher, one might not notice a mistake immediately. Look at it, there is something wrong.

Inattention? Malicious act from the windows installer?



Nobody's perfect  Ph J F F


Look at the low part of the dress :

It doesn't seem to fit. Guess what is wrong ? Leave a comment.

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The Enigma of Manier a pilgrim of Santiago 2

13 Novembre 2012, 22:03pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Where is he ?


Adrian van Ostade      Fight    (fiction ndlr)

One can imagine Guillaume Manier, mentioned previously : a burly guy, strong enough to do battle if necessary. Like all the others, or almost, he needs company in order to better defend himself. For enemies and dangers are not uncommon in the eighteenth century ! Sometimes the problems come from the group itself ...

The journey resumes in the South West of France (map).

"Originally he goes along well with his companions, but the discord settles disputes again and again. He therefore wants to leave the band, but, fearing to be alone in Spain, he bribes Delorme who betrays reporting his intentions to others. They squabble. One conflict escalates, then two, but for fear of being alone, we stay together.

In Spain, however, things escalate and on the path leading from Burgos to Hornillos del Camino, Guillaume wrestles with Hermand and smashes his stick on his head. Neither the players nor the witnesses get frightened beyond measure, as evidenced by the comments of the diary where Manier simply says that "had not been the help of a French coppersmith, there would come something else. "Anyway they all make good friends again when they near Quintanileja. "(Jean-Claude Bourlès, Passants de Compostelle, Petite Bibliothèque Payot)

What then for our tailor from Carlepont ? He manages to reach Santiago de Compostela, and after devotions, makes his way back. We do not know why but he does it on his own. And the great mystery remains: back in France, we keep track of him at Saintes, and we learn that he decides to stay a pilgrim. This time it will lead him to Rome.
Guillaume becomes a "romieu".


Hard luck, and therein lies the mystery, no trace, no news from Manier since then. Neither you nor anyone else, will ever know


how his life ended...

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