Bordeaux and Paris

 

Wandering around Paris alone is my absolute favorite thing to do. After finishing the Camino, I was incredibly delighted to see little yellow arrows around the city guiding my fellow peregrinos onward to Santiago. I’ve been to Paris many times and I’d never noticed the arrows until this trip. Funny how things can be right under your nose, and you don’t even see them – or know what they’re for.

I took these with my android – and the selfie is in the bathroom of the bowels of l’Hotel where Oscar Wilde died. The bar in the hotel is pretty much always empty, very private, and – in the right company – impossibly romantic.

The image looking down the Seine is taken from the first spot I visit when I get to the city (Pont d’Arcole). I feel an energetic charge pulse through my body and it fills me with pure bliss. It’s not the prettiest bridge, or even the prettiest view, but the energy is amazing. The image with the street musicians is taken from another favorite spot – Pont Saint-Louis – I could spend hours here (and have) people and performer watching. And, at night, the view of the back side of Notre Dame looks pretty magical. Not far from this spot is my favorite place in the city – no pictures, though, that bit’s just for me. 😉

The image of the tree – the oldest tree in Paris (over 400 years) – is in Square René Viviani next door to Shakespeare and Company. It was after my first visit to the bookshop in 2008 that I decided to open my own (the Bookery Nook in Denver). Alas, people became more and more enamored with their electronic devices and the printed word on paper became somewhat obsolete; we closed in 2012 – c’est la vie.

Camino de Santiago {Toulouse to Finisterre; Santiago de Compestela to Bilbao, San Sebastien, Bordeaux, and Paris}

 

 

On March 30, 2016, I left Denver for Toulouse, France to begin my solo pilgrimage over the Pyrenees and across northern Spain to Finisterre {the End of the World}. I walked for six weeks (800 km) – wearing the same pants and shirt every day and carrying everything I needed on my back. It was beautiful, humbling, frustrating, painful, eye-opening, extraordinary, breathtaking, and emotional – and one year later {as I write this}, among the most meaningful experiences I’ve had – top five, for sure.

 

I didn’t take many pictures – it rained all but three days and I was sore and bitchy. There’s no escaping Mother Nature on Camino – you must capitulate and it will humble a person quickly. Three people that I am aware of died during the time I was walking; this is not an easy journey and to go unprepared is ill-advised.

 

It’s only now, a year later, that the experience is beginning to sink in.

I’m grateful for the experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

 

After I reached Finisterre, I flew from Santiago to Bilbao and spent a few days traveling northward toward Paris before flying back home to Denver. I’d say “back to reality” – but honestly, the Camino IS reality in every sense of the word.

Here’s the LINK to my Instagram page of that journey, if you’re interested; it’s here that I chronicled my adventure with my sock monkey companion, Pitou.

Here’s the LINK to the little video I made – much cooler than just the pictures, I think. 🙂

 

 

Buen Camino, wherever you are.