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From America to Santiago de Compostela arrival at Tours

21 Avril 2012, 08:37am

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

So good to rest !


You can stand the bad weather with the right equipment. Luce and Daniel have had to face the wind, the rain, and lower temperatures than when they landed 25 days ago. Who cares ? They are now 300 kilometres (187 miles) away, at Tours.

On april 14, their 7th walking day, they were at Beaugency at the entrance of the "Garden of France" (the Châteaux Country). Their pilgrimage includes a long beautiful stretch by the Loire River, considered as a wild and royal river. They love the views, the architecture et the local products...                                        

On april 17, near Tours, they go on feeling they aching body and have a few blisters. Thank God they may find good resting moments when, at the end of the day,  they share friendship and the typical French drink... La vie est belle.



Photos Dalu

Cheers and  Buen Camino !

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All Alone on the Way of St James

11 Avril 2012, 16:03pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Colette leaves from Paris, France
P1010382-PORTRAIT-.JPG   Before retirement last year, Colette, with a Britanny origin, was a Works Controller for Parks and Gardens in a small suburban town of the Paris Region. Her favorite domain : trees and wooded spaces. A sweet voice, and eyes that never end smiling...

On April 10, 2012, she leaves her home and gets to the very heart of Paris. From St James Tower (close to Châtelet) she starts a 1740 km (1087 miles) hike to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.



Tour St Jacques in Paris Ph. J F F


Within four days she will be at Orléans. Then she will take the riverside path all along the Loire, will go across Tours and the Châteaux country, reach Poitou and in a little more than three weeks she will make it to Saintes.



West pillar of  St Jacques square in Paris Ph. JFF


After a short break she will resume her route from the same town.


The departure season has begun and after last winter when we saw several pilgrims who were not afraid of the cold, there are many departures from the St Jacques Tower in April and May.



Notre-Dame plaza Ph. J F F



Stamp at Notre Dame Ph. JFF


She does not show her anxiety to much, but we feel it in what Colette says and the way she says it. It's quite understandable... But if she likes trees, woods and forests, she will see plenty of them soon ! When you leave Paris, there is no  industrial zone to cross.



The shell in the net   Ph. JFF


Bernard, a member of Compostelle 2000, organises a new kind of help for the pilgrims. He offers them company for the first hours.


Four other volunteers of the Paris Association were there to encourage Colette, to walk with her. They promised her an unforgettable experience. And they wished her 


Buen Camino !

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The Camino from far away

10 Avril 2012, 18:24pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Unexpected pilgrim



One, two, three, go !  Ph. VB


Big surprise for our Canadian friends when they were at the Saint James Tower, the starting point in Paris on April 8, 2012 : a third pigrim was there, ready to go.

Alain has come from New Caledonia for the only purpose to walk the Way of St James on the via turonensis. Noumea, the capital town of that French territory is almost the antipody of France. Only New Zealanders come from a further place.


Alain is 74 and has done the camino in many ways already.




West pillar  Ph. VB



Before he took off from his home place, Alain was interviewed by the local newspaper. "Les nouvelles calédoniennes" published an article about him on March 22. As the pilgrim says, apart from religious and spiritual motivations, many long distance walkers choose the camino to "visit regions far from major busy routes, have time, meditate, get away from the daily routine, or live a simple human experience."

According to the paper, it seems that about ten New-Caledonians have walked the Way of St James in the past years.


How many Canadians ?

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From America to Santiago de Compostela Paris

5 Avril 2012, 21:22pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Luce and Daniel


What a nice visit at Compostelle 2000 this morning ! The Paris association received two pilgrims from America :


Luce and Daniel  left Montreal three days ago to walk from the French capital to Santiago de Compostela on the Way of St James.


Our cousins from America already know a lot of things about the Way : "We've been preparing that journey for four years !" they say.



A departure sign Ph JFF



The windmill at Pointe-aux-Trembles, waiting for the ones in French Beauce. Ph. Jeangagnon


In Canada they took part to the Meeting organised by the local association and trained and trained again, jogging and hiking. No doubt the backpacks were checked many times...



They are starting their Camino with a real pilgrim spirit. Like Christian they have decided not to book their nights in advance, they will see all along the good surprises that the Way is preparing for them. Some very nice acquaintances for sure. And they are still amazed by the low price of the local productions here, wine for instance...





Three days to go. Ph. JFF


At Compostelle 2000 they got some extra information about the best way to get out of Paris easily. And how to get in touch with the local volunteers who may help them to be welcome in families on their way...


Seventy-five days to make their dream come true. A dream that could be the journey of their life. Listen to that whispered secret : they might buy two rings on the way, have them blessed, and if all goes well, back to Canada, a ceremony would take place...


The first step will be on Easter Sunday at 9 at the Saint James Tower. Some pilgrims might walk with Luce and Daniel as a goddbye gift. We warmly wish them an excellent camino


in France, in Spain and for the rest of their life !

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Van Nederland St Jabik naar Santiago Way of St James

11 Mars 2012, 20:13pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

On a bicycle



Gerard is Dutch. Aged 63, he's decided to leave from Friesland, the northernmost region of the Netherlands. More precisely from Sint Jabik, a small town (1300 inhabitants), near the Waddenzee.


"I intend to do a real pilgrimage, without unecessary comfort" he said. He started to bike on the 8th of March 2012. He is now crossing his country, will ride across Belgium, France (Reims, Paris, Tours and Bordeaux) and Spain.


You already know that people leave from further north, Norway or Germany (any example from Danmark ?) So this is an opportunity to discover another mile zero departure point to Santiago. 






Photos Gerard Van der Meer


At Sint Jabik (St Jacobiparochie), the City Council accepted the idea to erect a monument celebrating the Way of St James. On the church plaza an arch, or a gate (look here to see the symbol meant by doors and gates), and a vast and stylised scallop shell were set on the ground. More than 2040 kilometers from Santiago de Compostela the Great European Itinerary has been recognised.


Someday, in the Paris Region...

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Business on the Camino

8 Mars 2012, 20:17pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

God or Gold ?



The Temple merchants, Detail


Many pilgrims complain about the best known Ways of St James, either in France or in Spain. Too many people, too much money made.


Sometimes the albergues are full, or they will ask for money to use the kitchen, sometimes the way is changed to force you to walk by a new hostel, or some pure landscapes are spoilt by the view of soda vending machines...



So what will you do ? Will you follow the example of Jesus from Nazareth and chase the merchants from the Temple ?




Jesus chasing the merchants from the Temple

Jean Baptiste Thomas, 1822, St Rocco church, Paris

For so many centuries money and pilgrimages have been together... It's up to you, chase them if you wish, but do it peacefully. 


Keep peace in mind, non-violence has a lot of advantages.


Why don't you try a way without that kind of constant trade ? Such ways do exist, where you can meditate quietly, have pure relationship with the people. Look at the posts of this blog. 


You'll guess where they are.

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Way of St James Presents from Pilgrims

26 Février 2012, 23:51pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Presents ? How nice !




  Savouring books, enjoyable steps ... ph. J F F

Thank you so much for these presents received from readers ! An (empty) scallop shell, a book with a watercolour, a guide of the Paris Way of St James, and a box of chocolates.


One of them knows I love chocolates and chocolate. She reads a lot, walks across creeks barefooted even in Winter, she likes music and is planning to hike the Via de la Plata pilgrimage to Santiago soon.


The guidebook comes from my trainee ! She knows I can get lost sometimes. She will take the leave in almost two months, on the Paris Way and she's so glad of it !


The book and the shell were offered by the lady who dared take the Camino on her own, more than ten years ago. She taught me how to blog, well I followed her advices better in French than in English, but I do my best. She is planning to go on the Camino del Norte soon.


Why these presents ? No reason, just for the pleasure of giving and for my pleasure of receiving. I got other presents on the Way, clothes when I needed a better equipment, help when I was exhausted, gifts when celebrating was a must.


How do I dare receiving ? It's mainly a lesson, while I'd prefer not to get anything. A present you do not expect might make you thankful and you would not know how to take it...


To make it shorter, I conclude that the path we are living is full of gifts from Life and from the people you make acquaintances with. Thank you again !


Khalil Gibran : "Raise your soul ... with he who gives to you,


accept his gifts as if they were wings..."


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Statues on the Camino : Pons in France

24 Février 2012, 10:42am

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com



Pons, on the Camino, the Paris Way


The town of Pons, south of Poitiers and Saintes, has already been mentioned for its old hospital and about exhibitions. The city council has not hesitated long to honour the past, the present and the future pilgrims. A good surprise two pilgrims discovered a few months ago. 


In May 2011, Céline et Guillaume (25 years each), had started their camino on their own. They met somewhere on the way.





Was it in Picardy, in Ile de France, in Normandy, in Touraine, in Poitou, or in Saintonge ? They will tell us someday. Anyway they decide to walk together. 


As they pass by the beautiful romanesque Saint Vivien church, they discover five mates who seem to be waiting for them...




"We had fun taking these pictures, Céline says, and the statues posed very well !"


 The Way of St James is fun, now you know why the long distance hikers on the Way

have eyes that shine...


Thanks to Céline for the pictures and the idea.

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Way of St James a goldsmith at Nantes France

18 Février 2012, 11:33am

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com





On the Nantes Island, near the mouth of the Loire, and close to the West Coast Way of st James, Béranger opened a workshop a few years ago. He knows how to create a jewel, but he rather calls himself a craftsman.


Gold, silver, everything is handmade, slowly.


"Love, faith, fidelity, splendour... Since the dawn of Mankind, the jewel is linked to the highest feelings, to eternity." Béranger has decided to work for the Saint James pilgrims and their friends, and to create a collection of St James jewels.

P7270859.jpg  SILHOUETTE-A-POINTER.jpg  P7270862.jpg


The scallop shell has the leading position.


Le Creuset de la Création

Contact : contact@lecreusetdelacreation.com



Free ad.

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Paris - Tours Map and Highlights on the Way of St James

15 Février 2012, 09:09am

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

From the Seine to the Loire  


PHOTOS paris compostelle

Paris Champ de Mars Photo J F F       To see the map click on the picture


The Paris Way of St James starts in Norway, you may make such a decision. Anyway, you need to know where you walk. Click on the picture and you'll have a general idea of where the path winds its way from Paris Tour St Jacques.


For more accurate maps ask the local associations : Compostelle 2000 for Paris-Epernon, Amis de st Jacques d'Eure et Loir for Epernon-Châteaudun, and so on to proceed further south. Same thing to get accommodation. Ask for their contact via a comment or find it here.


Have a look now at some of the highlights that you will discover on your way  :


- The Green Way (Coulée Verte), a park that makes leaving Paris easy and pleasant

- The St Louis du Temple Abbey at Vauhallan

- The Vaux de Cernay Abbey

- The Château of Voisins

- The Chartres cathedral

- The castle of Châteaudun

- The Loire River

- The Tours cathedral.


330 kilometers, i.e. 10 to 12 days or more, depending on how fast you walk, but remember : That's not a race ! Further south, more highlights...



Bon chemin ! Buen camino !

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