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From America to Santiago de Compostela Arrival

22 Juin 2012, 09:52am

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Happy and unhappy


DEVANT LA PORTE DE SANTIAGO G 2426[1]Last departure


Expected news :  Daniel and Luce who started their Camino from Paris have just sent a message.


"Hello everyone from Spain, more precisely from Santiago de Compostela !


Seventy three days later and one thousand eight hundred and fourty kilometres further, here we are on the plazza of the Saint James cathedral.




All kinds of feelings... We lack words. We feel proud, tired, glad that the camino is over and sad it ends altogether. It's as if we were "on a cloud". It's hard to realise that it is over.


Pilgrims Mass at noon. A very moving ceremony. We've been lucky to see the swinging Botafumeiro (see internet about the swinging), a giant vessel made for burning incense.


Quite a show ! We were right in the axis of the swing. WOW !


We are spending two days in Santiago to rest and Friday we will visit Finisterra. Then a bus will take us to Portugal.



By the way, we go on planning to get married. Our rings have been blessed in Spanish and in German  :))) No kidding  !


Till late,

Daniel and Luce, former pilgrims and pilgrims in our heart".


These last words mean a lot. Seventy three days of walk, efforts, silence, nature, people met, and probably other things as well, have been enough to deeply transform Luce and Daniel.


Congratulations to both of you, for everything :


the past, the present and the future.

To follow their pilgrimage from the start, links :

- Our meeting in Paris

- The departure from Tour Saint Jacques in Paris

- News from near Tours after the first steps

- What they said about their pilgrimage once in the south of France

- Information from Spain.

Photos D and L from Pointe-aux-Trembles, Canada

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Abbeys and chateaux along the Paris Way of St James

20 Juin 2012, 22:27pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Before Chartres, Vendômois and the Loire Chateaux



Early sight : Sceaux, from the Way of St James 

Photo JFF


A trail of abbeys and chateaux, that should be the other name of the Paris Way of St James via Chartres !


In 3 or 4 days, you'll admire (in the order) the Sceaux chateau (classical), the Vauhallan church (simple), the abbey of Limon (religious), the castle of la Madeleine (médieval), the Coubertin chateau (sports), Dampierre chateau  (panoramic), the abbey of les Vaux de Cernay (luxury), the château of Rambouillet (presidential), the Guéville chateau (apart), the Gazeran church (quiet), the Prieuré Saint Thomas at Epernon (welcoming) and in winter the chateau of Voisins (grandiose).


Add monuments that are famous for their  spirituality and the importance of knowledge right in the centre of the French capital : Tour St Jacques, Notre-Dame, Saint Séverin church, Collège de France, Sorbonne, Lycée Louis le Grand, Panthéon, Saint Jacques du Hautpas church, Val-de-Grâce...


You might not have the time to visit them all. At least, you can rest a while near the parish churches, attend the vespers, or picnic in the perpectives designed by André le Nôtre ...


... the master of French garden design.

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From America to Santiago de Compostela almost there

19 Juin 2012, 00:19am

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

In Spain



Our American friends regularly send news. A few words, some pictures, enough to make sure all goes well. Examples :


June 3, 2012, from Llanes : "We 've just finished our 56th day and there are 423 km to go out of 1800. "La vie est belle", still, but we've made a little change of lane.




Way of St James Sand and sea


We  have switched from the Camino Francès to the Camino del Norte. So, after two days of rest and visits at Burgos, we took a bus to Comillas. The Way is more difficult but the landscapes are very different. We will walk along the Ocean as far as Oviedo. Later we'll take the Camino Primitivo that will lead us to Santiago.
We are now on the coast of the Cantabric Sea."



Way of St James The Cantabric Coast


June 17, 2012, from Lugo : "Good morning everyone !

Here we are in the town of Lugo on the Camino Primitivo. Four more days and we get to Santiago. We totalize 1737 kilometres. Our shoes start to become worn out. We carry on although sometimes the weather doesn't help. The views are gorgeous and the people we meet too.

See you soon,

Daniel and Luce xxx"




Grandas de Salime

Remember that Luce and Daniel left from Paris on April 8, 2012. Before Spain, they crossed the south of Ile de France, the Paris Region, then Touraine, and Poitou, Saintonge, the Bordeaux Region, the Landes and the Pyrenees


The end of the Camino, 

the beginning of another Way...

Pictures L & D from Pointe-aux-Trembles

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Evening on the Way of St James

12 Juin 2012, 22:01pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com




Remember, pilgrim...



Spring in Paris on the Way         Ph. J F F


... there is no thorn without a rose.

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A young lady on the way of St James

4 Juin 2012, 14:58pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Tout feu tout flammes


  Santiago and pilgrimages are key words for Cornelia : In Spain she had a training period at the Pilgrims Office at Santiago.

In Germany she studied the pilgrimages for disabled on wheel chairs. In Ireland she works for the 'Irish Society of the Friends of St James and manages their facebook page. She's a member of a German Pilgrims Association, too.


"Why should I wait, she says, for my dream to be fulfilled one fine day that may never come? And off I went from Paris to Santiago and Finisterre with my backpack, walking sticks and a smile on my face...




Bus (2)

There are lots of stories to tell about my journey. The first exciting one happened in Paris when I was about to buy a pair of walking sticks. I was inside the shop "Au Vieux Campeur" at the corner of St James st. when a bus directly in front of the shop caught fire and everyone inside the shop had to be evacuated.


Bus (4)

It took about an hour until the flames were extinguished and I could continue with my shopping. The parisians say that never happens...


On the way I met many people and was amazed to see how vast the seascapes may be..."



By the  Loire River, France



At Chasseneuil du Poitou, France



At Hondarribia in Spain


100 days later Cornelia gets to the end of the earth.


"Enjoy the pictures ! One of them was taken in Spain by a fellow pilgrim who has later become my boyfriend. Well, this Way never lacks



At Santiago


to surprise me ! "

Photos Cornelia K. et Christoph H.

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From Paris on the Way of St James another example

28 Mai 2012, 13:34pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Alain (Allan in French)



    Faubourg Saint Jacques st. in Paris, Way of St james  Ph J F F


Some pilgrims leave soon after their decision, others need more time to get ready. It doesn't matter. For many months Alain,  another Alain, has been picking up information and training.


Saturday May  26, 2012, 9 a.m., departure time.


His wife and his friends are with him at  Tour Saint Jacques to say good bye.


Eight members of the association Compostelle 2000 walk with him as far as St Jacques plaza, Porte d'Orléans, Montrouge, Coulée Verte, or Palaiseau, depending on their time schedule.


A pristine sky, a pleasant temperature, ideal weather conditions.


A moving moment when one of the few car drivers asks him :


-         "Where are you heading for ?

-         St James of Compostela.

-         How lucky ! That's what I'm planning to do !"

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Barefooted Pilgrim of Santiago de Compostela

24 Mai 2012, 20:31pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Is walking natural ?


Sue Kenny lives in Ontario, Canada. She has written a book on the Camino she walked in 2001.


Obviously she was deeply changed by her pilgrimage. Like everyone. No wonder, so far...





  What she likes now is to walk barefooted. Yes, whatever the weather, whatever the ground. Although she rather likes moss and tender grass.


She is now walking the 260 kilometres (ca. 162 miles) between Ponferrada, the city of the Templars and Santiago de Compostela, barefoot.



"For the last couple of years, she says, the bottoms of my feet would be aching and felt bruised while walking in my boots. Apparently when we have soles disconnecting us and the ground, the sensory nerves on the bottom of our feet want to feel so badly that they push through to be as close to the skin as possible, and that's what gives us pain.  


Now my sensory nerves are confident that I will give them the chance to sense the type of ground, temperature, my balance, etc

So the nerves have pulled up away from the surface so I don't feel the pain of walking on gravel, stones, roots or pavement. The body is an amazing thing".


She is now on the Way of St James, with a gang of friends who wear shoes. All is well. Surprise : a few hours after she got to Galicia, she met Andrea, an italian guy. He is barefoot too ! 


Her advice to whoever wants to do the same thing : 



 "Barefoot walking and running in the forest is the most spiritual thing ....You will find your feet, calves and shins will get very sore and tired at first because you are using more muscles/tendons etc than you usually do. Start with 5 minutes barefoot and add a minute every other day. Go slow".


Well, naturally, you may ask yourself what the most normal thing is : with, 


or without  shoes ?

Photos : Sue Kenny

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Back from the Camino : no more saluting

23 Mai 2012, 21:41pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Greetings or not



La rencontre or Bonjour Monsieur Courbet, Fabre Museum, Montpellier, on the Via Tolosana


Everyone says hello on the Way and you always answer.


Back home what happens ? If you live in a city and don't want to look crazy, this is the thing you can't do anymore : say hello to the passers-by.


Someone you don't know comes on the same sidewalk : he doesn't salutate you and you may not.


Two destinies on the same ground, two human beings ignore each other...


Like the atoms of a same organism that are not linked.


A body is scattered.

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From America to Santiago de Compostela over the Landes

20 Mai 2012, 14:01pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

La vie est belle


Daniel and Luce had paid us a visit in Paris. They had been accompanied from the St James Tower on a fine Easter Sunday. From Tours we received good news. Now they are over the Landes. From Pons they sent a picture that will remind you something. This is what they say about their camino experience :  



At Poitiers : "We totalize today four hundred kilometres. We walked on a 1400 years old Roman Road and surprisingly we did not meet Astérix !!! (A French comic hero).




Yesterday was the worst day : wind, wind, rain, hail, wind, wind but la vie est belle.
We go on !"


 From the Landes :

"We got to Taller today, our thirty-third stop, with over 850 kilometres (ca. 530 miles)in our shoes.





For a few days we have had temperatures up to  35 degrees celsius and a lot of sunshine. No shade, as we were walking across the Landes Region where millions of trees were pulled down by a storm in 2009. Desolated and desert.


The encounters are very interesting, either with other pilgrims or with the hosts who accomodate us.


Four more nights and we'll reach St. Jean-Pied-de Port, and Spain.


The blisters and other physical difficulties are virtually gone,  la vie est belle, and we walk an average 


25 kilometres (ca.16 miles) a day."

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Are you afraid of the Camino ?

30 Avril 2012, 09:07am

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Show some emotion...



The scream  Edvard Munch


An answer to a question from our friend Françoise : is it usual to be afraid to leave ? A terror that goes bigger and bigger as the departure date gets closer ?


The Vikings thought that fear was a proof of weakness. They were wrong, because they cannot say so today, they do not exist any more ! Their certainty has died as well...



Our friend Thorgal


Gentlemen, let's be honest  : although we are equipped, strong, brave, reliable, proud, trained and used to facing troubles, let's admit it , we sometimes feel a little fear before we go. Not as far as crying, men don't cry unless in the hide. But sometimes, a little more nervous, we feel our throat more, our heart beats louder, we may be troubled by a pain in he stomach...


Our friend René mentioned that, about the meetings organised at the 'Association Compostelle 2000 with the future pilgrims... Discreetly he used the words "scopes and fears" and "help him fight his own fears"...


Is fear useful ? Yes, it helps us in case of danger. It warns us and forces us to prepare better.


What are we afraid of ? To loose something. Our belongings, our health, our life. A whole story ! 


So, if you feel afraid, remember it's quite natural, and you can face it. All of us, our friend Isabelle, our friend Danielle, our friend Claire, our friend  Martine, our friend Lili, our friend Anne, our friend Rita, our friend Pierre, our friend Pierre-Marie, our friend André, our friend Hubert, our friend Valentin, our friend Bernard, our friend Bertrand, our friend Romano, and all those who cannot be cited here, all of us felt that fright.


But there is one thing you cannot be afraid of on the Way of St James : 


not to make new friends ...

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