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Way of St James Don't worry be happy

19 Décembre 2011, 23:23pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

A good advice for the Way of St James


Sometimes you'll feel so fine, your bag will seem so light, you'll be in such a good mood that like Louis Armstrong you might sing "It's a wonderful world". Or you might think about Bobby Mc Ferrin...


A happy feeling, but be careful.


 (wait until minute 1:07 at least)



Long distance walkers and pilgrims know the cause of such a pleasant feeling : "Endorphins  are endogenous opioid peptides that function as neurotransmitters.   They are produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in vertebrates during exercise,   excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love and orgasm, and they resemble the opiates in their abilities to produce analgesia and a feeling of well-being" (Wikipedia).


Be happy, but beware, too,

otherwise your Way could become shorter

... than expected !

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Walking-Marching november 2011 Music and wine

16 Décembre 2011, 23:45pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Ground level

(See the previous post about the november 26, 2011 Paris-Montrouge)



La Marque Jaune (photo Claire Ladiré)

Galician welcome drink,  picnic in the sun, free coffee, a speech by the author of a book about the Paris Way of St James and arrival of the members of the city councils, a great stop at St Séverin... Everyone resumes ones walk via St Jacques st ...


On the ground some mysterious signs show the way to Santiago...


End of the day at Montrouge, the one and only suburb town to walk across before you reach green spaces on your way south towards  Tours and Poitiers...


In the Montrouge church, dedicated to St James, a choir is waiting for the pilgrims. Look at the stained glass windows ! More shells than on the ground !




In Heaven as it is on Earth (photo Claire Ladiré)

The choir sings several kinds of musics from Mozart to popular songs. The French pilgrims hymn ends the concert : "Ultréïa" is sung by the whole audience...

To finish the day with another French touch, hot wine with spices, a traditional winter drink,  was served to everyone.

Montrouge, just a mile wide before the "countryside", is a perfect way to leave Paris nicely. Hopefully the little town will have bronze signs on the ground, and Pierrefitte, Saint Denis, Aubervilliers and Paris will follow the local example.


More infos about the project in French in www.compostelleiledefrance.eu


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Walking-marching 2011 a sunny stop

13 Décembre 2011, 19:29pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Stop in the middle of Paris, Left Bank, at the St Séverin cloister, on the Way of St James.

(have a look at the previous post about the same walk from Paris to Montrouge on november 26, 2011)


Sunshine at noon for the picnic stop. Seems the sun was also in the hearts when Paris, Saint Denis and Montrouge City Councils members came and received from the Chairman of Compostelle 2000 association in Paris, Jacques Blanc, a present and a file.


The present is a book by Sophie Martineaud who dedicated it. The file is a long list of signatures by the representatives of ca. 8000 people in France who request bronze signs in the Paris region.




Right time on the right place Ph Freddy Mouchard


10 minutes and 5 speeches later the whole party went out of Saint Séverin heading south...


Can you read French ? see more about the project : www.compostelleiledefrance.eu


Know more about the afternoon in the next post. 

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Walking-marching again in Paris : success

6 Décembre 2011, 21:30pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Gates in a row


Jardin Villemain ph Jean Claude Paulet BIS

  Jardin Villemin way out (Xème arrt) Ph. Jean Claude Paulet


Saturday 26th of November 2011 almost 300 walkers gathered and went from the north of Paris to Montrouge mentioned here


Along Canal St Martin, St Martin and St Jacques streets and faubourgs, as well as at Montrouge, the long distance walkers agreed on the  Compostelle Ile de France   project (new site).


Lots of symbols on the way. One of them was a row of gates. Enough to change  the itinerary into a path of initiation... Gates symbolise borders, limits, being apart. But when the gate is open, it's a sign of new relationship, new knowledge...

From the square in front of the St Jacques - St Christophe church in the XIXth arrondissement of Paris, where one could go meet the priest and get a camino stamp, there are 4 kilometres only to reach the heart of the City. Everyone went along the St Martin Canal then into the Villemin garden. When they went out of the garden they felt they were in town. A few narrow streets, and another gate gives way to Boulevard de Magenta close to Faubourg st Martin.


Bd Magenta ph Jean Claude Paulet BIS

Bd de Magenta corner      Ph. Jean Claude Paulet


From Faubourg St Martin, they could see Porte St Martin. The group entered then into Louis the XIVth's city . The Sun-King tried to make the St James pilgrimage more difficult, with more controls, you never know with those roaming people...



Faubourg St Martin, Porte St Martin      Ph. Jean Claude Paulet


Going straight ahead, we reached the Pompidou Center. A pedestrian zone. Going is easier than ever.


Stop at Tour Saint Jacques, postcards to be sent to the City Council were given free. A big chance the mayor will get a lot of mail these days ! Sophie Martineaud, a specialist of the Way of St James, made a short speech about the tower, the facts and the legends connected with the story of an Alchemist ...


The group resumed its walk along the City Hall, across the river Seine, and the City Island with Notre-Dame and the statue of St James ("look at the shell !"). After the Viviani square, where the oldest tree in Paris goes on growing,  the group entered the St Séverin cloister .


The Left Bank is the South of Paris already !  That is where a mayor and members of city councils met the group.


In a future post : the second part of the day.


 « There is no better image of life than a door that opens and closes » Michel Cournot

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Bronze signs... walking-marching again in Paris

17 Novembre 2011, 21:02pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com


Remember : a year ago, Compostelle 2000, the Paris "association"  organised a walk through the French Capital City.


The Sunday walks usually gather 30 to 80 people. From Saint Denis to the St Jacques subway station, in december 2010 the number of walkers was over 330 !  An event which was dedicated to the project to see the Paris streets marked with bronze European "way of St James" symbols of the camino.


Many towns and cities in France are equipped with such marks. See the posts about Margaux, Talence and Tours, three beautiful examples...




The next walk has the same target : make sure that the Paris authorities are aware of the project, and give a chance to see the result. The walkers will start from St Jacques St Christophe church (metro Crimée) , make a stop at the St Jacques tower, and resume the hike southbound. So remember November 26, 2011 and if you can, join us !


Donators (a hiking equipment shop, a publisher and a 3 star hotel called Le Compostelle - see the poster), volunteers, everyone tries his best to make that day a must. You will learn about the history and the legends of the Camino in Paris, owing to short lectures in a real friendly atmosphere that will remind you the time you spent on the Way...


Maximum length : 12 km. 2 possible meeting points : 


- 9 : 30 a.m. Place de Bitche (XIXth arrondissement - Métro Crimée). The church nearby will welcome you at 9 a.m.


- 11 : 30 a.m. Tour Saint Jacques (IVth Métro Châtelet orHôtel de Ville) for the ones who like to sleep in (unusual for the camino).


End of the day in the afternoon at Montrouge.


Take your picnic along, invite your family, your friends, your neighbours, your colleagues !


Map of the Paris metro  :






More info :  01 43 20 71 66


...  Shall we meet  ?

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Exhibition on the Way of St James Paris

30 Septembre 2011, 17:23pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

As usual, the Tower of St James in Paris, France ...



A previous post showed you Gabriel Diaz's work.



6 of his videos were exhibitted in Paris at the ground level of the St James Tower, in the middle of Paris, IVth district, Métro Châtelet and Hôtel-de-Ville.



The inauguration took place on June 30, 2011. Gabriel Diaz, the Chargée du Patrimoine de la Ville de Paris and representatives of the Spanish Embassy in France as well as the Spanish Tourist Office opened the exhibition.


The show ended one month later.



Photo Eduardo Cuna Cicugapa


The City of Paris expressed its interest in anything that regards the Way of St James.

  Mme Pourtaud Photo E. Cuna




Mrs de la Torre-Campo, Head of the Tourist Office at the Embassy, is a pilgrim. She said she enjoyed being part of the  group of 332 people who walked across the French capital city on the Way last winter.             


    Mrs de la Torre-Campo Photo E. Cuna

The pilgrims in Paris and their friends are anxious to see non-temporary marks across their city to make

the Way more obvious.


Would you like to know more about the Tower of St James in Paris and how it's connected with the Way ? Ask the author of this blog (commentaires or contact). 

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Way of Saint James Monument 3

22 Septembre 2011, 19:00pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Hora fugit ambulat peregrinus




An amazing ad for a chocolate brand that doesn't exist any more ! Salvador Dali says "I'm crazy" ! But he was not insane : for a friend he designed a sundial on a house in Paris. The artwork faces the south and is on the Way of Saint James, St James st. in Paris (5th district).


Few pilgrims see it, as they head for their target and forget to look back from time to time. 



The Way, a solar system   Photo J F F

Paris may be completely surrealistic : Far away from the sea, such a huge scallop shell ! It is situated at 29 rue saint Jacques, but that nr. doesn't exist ...  And the Buen Camino  wish comes from burning blue eyes...


More faith that reason, desire more than science : anyway, pilgrim, that is just the start


of an incredible surrealistic Way.


Want to know more ? 

Link to the St James St Christopher church in Paris 

Link to the Saint James Tower in Paris

Link to the pilgrims way in the Paris region 


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Way of St James Video by Gabriel Diaz

20 Septembre 2011, 07:53am

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Another look at the Camino



Comments in Spanish


Gabriel Diaz is a video artist. He uses images to show the stretch of the Way of St James.


Gone alone on the roads and the paths, like a pilgrim, he walked six different parts of the Camino. "Three years of "intense work", he says. While walking, he took a picture every 11 steps. Why eleven ? And why not ?


From these thousands pictures, which he put together, he has created troubling and moving videos. The kind of shaking effect reproduces the movement of the pilgrim quite well. 


Images that seem to come from a dream (or a nightmare sometimes). And this is not the work of a journalist, it is an artist's work.


Are you planning to follow his steps ? Don't be afraid, pilgrim. To the strange aspect of an empty way, your imagination must add the song of the wind and of the birds, the cheers of the people living nearby, the lights of the rising sun, the fires of the sunsets, the crossing of beautiful cities like Paris, Chartres, Tours, Bordeaux, Burgos and Leon, the happiness of getting further, the encounters, good relationship, sharing food and loughter, hospitality by volunteers, small and great events, and the lucky happenings...


which the way is preparing for you.

Another amazing video here.

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Paris Way of St James E2i After the 2nd lecture

19 Septembre 2011, 08:07am

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com


Movement, meditation and emotion




Photo André Weill


On June 24, 2011 at Le Perreux near Paris, France, André Weill gave a fascinating lecture. Previous post about it.


After Santiago de Compostela in Spain, and several other itineraries, André Weill walked 3365 kilometres (ca 2100 miles) between Auschwitz, Poland, and Jérusalem, Holy Land. A city which he nicknames "cauldron of hope". More than just a single and family adventure, he brings a true witness. Five months that led him to a book (not translated yet) and intense pictures of humanity.


The non gouvernmental organisation "Enjeu Initiative Insertion" who organised the lecture propose to use the Way of Saint James as a mean to help jobless and/or homeless people to find their own new way and a new start in their life.


Next lecture  :


The Romanesque Art.


André Weil's blog (in French)l : http://andreweill.fr/


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Codex Calixtinus gone away... of St James

17 Septembre 2011, 20:26pm

Publié par wayofsaintjames.over-blog.com

Call the police !




Bad news last summer from the cathedral of Santiago : the Codex Calixtinus was declared stolen or rather not found again, between the 3rd and the 5th of July 2011.


That Codex is a group of several books. 225 hand-written pages dated 1140. A new work when you compare it with the Book of Kells (820) so prettily decorated and proudly exhibitted in Dublin...


The chapter of the Cathedral was very upset for not even noticing immediately the Book had been stolen.


For the French the Book has some kind of importance for it contains the famous Aimery Picaud guide book that describes the many ways through France (and Spain) for the pilgrims aiming to reach the Disciple's tomb. The first camino guide book ever.


Music lovers are not happy either, as it contains as far as we know the first written traces of liturgical polyphony...


Thank God copies had been made before the theft, one of them is still exhibitted at the museum. A 2 500 € issue can be purchased at the cathedral shop.


The latest news say : "En los últimos días no se ha producido ninguna novedad destacable que permita descubrir al autor o autores del hurto"


In other words they have no clue about where the Book is.  Maybe the Codex Calixtinus will be kept for decades under the bed of a naive Frenchman who had imagined it should be given back to the French museums. Another story like the one of a famous painting stolen in Paris by an Italian patriot who wanted it back to Florence... the story of Mona Lisa...


And the Way of St James from Paris and many other points


would become famous throughout the world...

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