Do not just follow the easy path - walk strong and make your own.
does broaden one's horizons, and you acquire a feeling of respect for the people
of the countries visited if you view them with an open mind for their situation
and not in the context of yours. Not everyone envies the North American
lifestyle. Simple is better and there is something to learn from every society.
England - Finland, to family at Kronoby on the Arctic Circle - France, where even railroad stations have gourmet food - Germany, the friendliest people - Gibraltar, you couldn't get there from Spain in 1974, you had to go on a boat (the Mons Calpe) from Algeciras to the continent of Africa at Tangier, then back from there, even though 'the Rock' actually overlooks the isthmus from Algeciras! -
Italy, wonderfully chaotic fun - Liechtenstein - Luxembourg - Monaco - Netherlands - Norway, family heritage - Portugal - San Marino - Scotland, family heritage - Slovenia, (still part of Jugoslavia then) - Spain, easy living on the Costa del Sol, hurra por la siesta! Andalusia is a wonderful place to idle away time or write your novel - Sweden - Switzerland, I know where the best restaurant in the world is, but I can't tell you - (well maybe, ask me again later) - Vatican City - Wales. Morocco - Lebanon - Iran - India - Thailand - Singapore - Hong Kong - Japan - Hawaii.
And not a bad experience in any one of them. During a year of travel, the people we met were friendly, accommodating and happy. And we learned that other cultures' different values are not necessarily lesser values.
Most of this
travelling was from the driver's seat of a BMW Bavaria, bought on European
Delivery plan from Vancouver and picked up at the factory in Munich. It was
complete freedom in visiting Europe and going wherever one wanted. We lived
between Fuengirola and Marbella on the Spanish Mediterranean.
|As you write, communicate and think for the rest of your life, the memories and experiences of your travels will find their way into all your writing; images, snatches of conversations, the ambience, and the people you meet will remain in your heart. Their world will become your world too. They leave an indelible mark on your soul.|
Naturally, Spain is foremost in
our minds having lived there for a short sunny time years ago, and as we
whiled away the warm months, we were treated with great respect. honesty and
It was a halcyon time of sweet mental languor.
And once you've been to Spain, you will always be in love with it.
excerpt from my song, Malaga ...
There is gold and silver here in Malaga
Shining softly when you look into her face
She will warm you in her sunlit arms and then
gently wrap you in her Spanish lace.
The Holy Sagrata Familia
The structure is stunning and you wonder how a mind could have conceived
it, and what effort it
took to design and work out the engineering details. The interior will strike you with awe,
go in to see what they have been building since March 1882 and is still not finished!
The fantasy of Gaudi's mind
Follow a plan to walk the 'Way of St. James' across the top of Spain.
|We are planning to
walk the Camino del Compostella. The
Path of the Shell.
To tackle the 500 mile trek across the top of
The plan is in motion; at the investigative stage, but we are busy
reading web sites, books on people who have completed the
Camino de Santiago de Compostella,
and ogling photographs of the rural Spanish countryside.
People from all over the world have been doing the Camino for
centuries which started as a religious pilgrimage.
We are not familiar with España verde, as our previous travels were in the far south, Andalusia. The Camino transcends the North, through Green Spain. It is a huge trek that will take this year to plan in order to get ourselves ready mentally and physically as well as gaining all the information we will need. The idea of trekking nearly five hundred miles became sort of a personal recovery plan. To rescue ourselves from the mediocrity of daily life in Vancouver. Getting fat, lazy and winding happy hour back 15 minutes each day and then sleeping through the six o’clock news!
But why the ‘Way of St. James’? And such a distance? We are not Catholic, and can’t even call ourselves religious. Is it a challenge in this late portion of life? A last stand in our autumn before winter sets in? Yes Why? Is it a small tribute to Pope John Paul II because he actually started the crack in the Berlin Wall that eventually ended communism in Eastern Europe. John Paul courageously went into his homeland Poland and pushed religion in the faces of the communists to start the most important process of change in any society – ideas. Why? The personal challenge. With each painful step perhaps one digs out the dust and dirt of one's personality to expose the truth. And isn't your personal truth the culmination of learning oneself? Isn't that part of the goal of life? Finding out who you are?
The Camino Frances begins at Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France and you start out hard and cross the Pyrenees! And for the next 30 days you visit Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos, León, Astorga and many tiny villages before reaching the “City of the Apostle”, Santiago. Legend tells that St. James' remains are buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. It is the proper pilgrims' route.
So the challenge is intriguing. We need to know what shoes to buy, what kind of packs to use, what to bring? A small computer will be carried for internet access and to post reports and e-letters. What clothes does one wear? We need to learn how to say “We’re wet and tired and hungry” in Spanish. We already know gracias.
It’s still in the beginning stages right now, but the idea of an arthritic ramble has taken hold and seems to have imbued a traveler's romance in with the mental and physical challenge. An adventure looming like a glowing sunrise. Promising a spiritual journey. Yes, a pilgrimage.
We are determined to embark on this adventure, and to walk our Camino in spite of pain and torture, and rickety feet, it is the Faith. St. James would allow it no other way. And we are bristling at the concept proposed by some, that in one’s seventies, one should not take on such an arduous trek. It’ll be the death of you, has been suggested.
Well, we were supposed to retire years ago to a comfortable life of leisure and canasta with gin and tonics in the shade of the veranda. Now we are thinking about how heavy a bottle of Glenfiddich will be in a back pack? But there is a way lighten it, isn't there. We'll be writing our peregrinations under the title, Not Quite Nomads, and looking for a sponsor e-zine so others might share in the enlightenment of two old soul-mates bound for a fleeting glory.
We were hoping for Freedom 75. Yet there are different measures of freedom, aren't there? So we’ll continue toward the dreamscape of Spain and keep planning ....... however slowly .............. for the death of us.
Deal the cards.
We want to be a peregrinos too!
Spanish Tourism website - http://www.spain.info/
Camino de Santiago info - http://www.caminodesantiago.me.uk/
|Enchanted||Cool Respite||Miles to go ...||Albergo||Peregrinos||Santiago|
Sometimes exotic locations are elusive and unobtainable for whatever reasons, ill health, costs, whatever,
but your local library lets you experience characters and locations of a uniqueness seen only through a great author's eyes.
Reading sends you there, via the page. Literature transcends the limits of film, having seen the movie just isn't good enough.
The written book allows you to travel to other worlds, other times, and plays to your very own theatre of the mind.
When I was very young I read a Zane Grey book, "Ken Ward in the Jungle" many times,
because it transported me to a South America jungle full of excitement, danger and wonderment.
Turn off your TV and try a few of these novels that have shared their exotic places in the world, our world:
by Joseph Conrad
set in the South Seas
Death on the Nile
by Agatha Christie
set in Egypt
by Albert Camus
set in Amsterdam
Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
by Roddy Doyle
set in Dublin
A Room With a View
by E.M. Forster
set in Florence
Death in Venice
by Thomas Mann
set in Venice.
For Whom the Bell Tolls
by E. Hemingway
set in Spain
The Spy Who Came In From
by John le Carré
set in Berlin
The Third Man
by Graham Greene
set in Vienna
Zorba the Greek
by Nikos Kazantzakis
set in Greece
Tales of the South Pacific
by James Michener
set in the South Pacific
by Robert Ruark
set in Kenya
by Martin Cruz Smith
set in the Soviet Union
The Year of Living
by Christopher Koch
set in Jakarta
by Rudyard Kipling
set in British India
|Acts of Empathy
set in San Remo, Italy
|The great book,
always open and which we should make an
effort to read, is that of Nature.
- Antoni Gaudi
|page © 2011 -2021 by Bob Westerholm & Masalla Galleries Graphics produced by Once-in-a-Blue-Moon Productions|