It’s always the stone that reminds me. The almost concave steps in the abbey at Conques and the bridge in Cahors. The deep dip in the sill of the doorway of the tiny Eglise de Sensaq. The cobblestones worn to a slippery shine at the edge of the Monasterio de Zenarruza. Stone is supposed toContinue reading “The Worn Stones of a Timeless Camino (#CaminoTuesday)”
The email came as a surprise. “I am getting in touch to invite you to this year’s Cheltenham for a panel event about modern pilgrimages.” “This year’s Cheltenham”…as in the Cheltenham Literature Festival, in Cheltenham, England. The oldest festival of its kind in the world, Cheltenham is a big deal. It draws tens of thousands of peopleContinue reading “The Cheltenham Literature Festival (and a Bonus Book Review of Travels With a Stick)”
If you’ve walked the Camino de Santiago, you’ve likely encountered a holloway, though you may not know it. According to Atlas Obscura: “Appearing like trenches dragged into the earth, sunken lanes, also called hollow-ways or holloways, are centuries-old thoroughfares worn down by the traffic of time. They’re one of the few examples of human-made infrastructureContinue reading “Almost Wordless Wednesday: Holloways”
The 13th-century stone bridge of Hospital de Órbigo is 200 meters long and boasts twenty arches, which now mostly rest on bare ground now that a dam blocks much of the Orbigo River, but the bridge survives because of the Camino-worthy legend of Don Suero de Quiñones.
Zenarruza to Guernica: 18 km; Guernica to Larrabetzu: 17 km If I’m ever going to finish the stories of Camino del Norte, I need to start combining days. And actually, when I think about the end of our first week, these two shorter-distance Camino walks had a lot in common. For thirty-five total kilometers, weContinue reading “Camino del Norte, Days 6-7: Basque Country”
On the Monday after Easter three years ago, Eric and I arrived in Paris after an overnight flight. We took a train to Lyon, and then another one to Le Puy-en-Velay, one of the oldest starting points of the Way of Saint James, according to the twelfth-century guide for pilgrims—considered one of the earliest travelContinue reading “Le Puy-En-Velay”
We were just ten kilometers from Puente La Reina, our stop for the night, but there was a side trip I was eager to take: The Church of Santa María of Eunate.
The Camino isn’t just a walk across the countryside — it’s also a chance to see beautiful, spectacular, awe-inspiring art.But if you look carefully, not everything is majestic.
Another one of those magical places that doesn’t make it into the guide books…
It was like your grandmother’s overcrowded knic-knack cabinet, where everything from the antique china to the snow globe she bought in Vegas is crammed onto a shelf and threatening to topple out at any minute.