This old Viking is ‘on the beach’!
As previously mentioned, I have decided to begin a journey that has been a goal of mine for many years, ever since reading ‘Pilgrimage’ by Paulo Coelho. I intend to continue the blog, which I suppose, remains true to its name. After all I’m sure there were many Vikings who put their adventuring aside and travelled towards whichever shrine they had in their hearts at the time… Be it Christian or Pagan. If one studies the header of my blog, the smaller print alludes to ‘a sailors journey of the heart’; thus I believe it is relevant to record my pilgrimage as an interlude to my gradual northerly migration in the Gulf of Bothnia, for surely this is very much an experience to push through the physical and into the realms of the soul.
If this iPad allows it, I intend to record some of the trials and tribulations of this pilgrimage which is known as the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Compostela has a lovely meaning, quite literally, ‘Field of stars’.
Reputedly, the pilgrims would follow the Milky Way, which pointed to Santiago. I can just imagine the romance of this even though the way has become somewhat commercialised of late. However, I am reliably informed that it is still a life changing experienced and has been walked by thousands of pilgrims going back centuries, as the bones of St James are thought to have been interred in the Cathedral.
As you all know I tend to highlight the emotional and spiritual aspects to my journeys rather than a geographical and factual account of the places visited. My good friend Google can more than adequately provide the reader with this information.
I have no expectations as to what I shall find on the Camino and pray for the strength and humility to follow the thousands who have gone before me. I am due to head south on the seventeenth of September, via Paris, Dax, Biarritz and Bayonne until reaching the tiny town of St Jean Pied de Port, in the Pyrenees. This is where the Camino begins.
I hope that all of you will accompany me in spirit and walk by my side as I cross the North of Spain; from the Foothills of the Pyrenees, through the long dusty plains of the Castille, until the rainswept verdant hills of Galicia, roughly five hundred miles.
blessings from a Viking Pilgrim…