The Bridges on the Camino de Santiago

Cee’s Which Way Challenge Week 7

http://www.ceephotography.com/2013/08/21/cees-which-way-challenge-week-7/

“The idea behind this challenge is to show off the actual road, bridge, walkway, tracks, etc.  I don’t want to see main topic to be the people, cars, trains.  Searching for which ways I find it gives me a new way of looking at how we move around and what wonderful ways we have found ways to travel as well as beautify our world.”

One of Cee’s options:

  • Bridges (any view)

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On The Way Challenge I just can’t seem to escape from the Camino de Santiago experience… So here is my entry for this week: just a few bridges on the Camino…

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A road, a railway and a bridge on the Camino in one shot… and one single hiker way in front of me…

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The famous bridge at Hospital de Orbigo, where knights jousted on this bridge…

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Bridge into the beautiful town of Molinaseca

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The bridge high above the ancient town of Ruitelan…

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Small bridge just outside Ruitelan, at the beginning of the climb up O’ Cerbreiro

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The two bridges into Portomarin…

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And finally- the bridge into Melide…

Travel theme: Architecture

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Architecture

I would like to share some Spanish Architecture with you this week:  (as seen on my Camino de Santiago in 2011…)

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The Prado museum in Madrid

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Léon Cathedral

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Inside Léon Cathedral

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Classical Cathedral in Astorga

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Next door- the Gaudi Cathedral in Astorga

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A Spanish Country Estate, the DIY Enthusiast’s dream, at a give-away price for the distinguished gentleman…

You’ll take the high road and I’ll take the low road…

Daily Prompt: The Road Less Traveled

by michelle w. on July 2, 2013

Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us OTHER.

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Some people choose to walk on the tarmac of life. Everything must be level and smooth, even if there could be a pothole sometimes.  But others want to walk on the wild side- they prefer the unpaved roads of life.

This photo was taken on the last stretch of the French Route just outside Santiago de Campostela on the Camino.

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And I think this was always the 2 choices in my life: the easy way, or the hard way?

I think I lost quite a few opportunities to take the easy way- it seems like the road I have walked in life was always a bit on the rough side…

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From the Cruz de Ferro to El Acebo… this IS the road…

Sometimes the road of life is full of rocks and extremely slippery.  And when that road is going downhill fast, and you carry a heavy burden, you can really fall on your face.

But: if the road only was easy, how would you appreciate it when the good times come?  The pain and the sweat and tears makes even the drink of water at the end of the road such a heavenly blessing!

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La Faba just before the top of o’ Cebreiro

So- most times I miss the turnoff for the easy road. Most times I consciously or unconsciously choose the road less travelled, to go and see what most people would miss along the way.  But, as I reflect on it in my blog- I am having a fantastic Ride through life!  And the water is sweet and cold…

If you keep on going long enough, you’ll get there….

Daily Prompt: We Can Be Taught!

by michelle w. on June 28, 2013

Tell us a moment or an incident that you treasure  – not necessarily because it brought you happiness, but because it taught you something about yourself.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us LEARNING

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I think it is just a part of the melancholy temperament, or being INTJ on the Myers Briggs test- I am usually filled with self- doubt.  I am always wondering if I have the ability to do something big, and do it successfully.

One of my bad thoughts about myself is that I am not a good hiker. Walking long distance just do not come easy to me. But there is a history to these ideas. At school, I was usually one of the slowest runners in the school.  I had some really bad hiking experiences in my life as well, and now I know it was caused by carrying too much luggage around.  There was such memories of pure misery carrying huge backpacks, some of them also some SA Army experiences…

So when I started reaching my midlife crisis, I thought about doing something so totally opposite to what I think I can do. I decided to try on a part of the Camino de Santiago.  With the time I had available I decided to walk from Léon to Santiago de Campostela in 2011- a distance of 317 km (each time taking the longer option) in 17 days.  This sounded totally too far to even imagine walking. But I decided to give it all I got, and try. Face the fear.  Look the enemy in the face, and spit in his eye…

So… I did.  I walked to the cathedral in Santiago… Image

I finished the Camino, and got my Campostela.

It took some pain along the way:

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But I learned a few lessons worth keeping for the rest of my life:

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All the Pilgrims have the same testimony in life: If you keep on walking, you get there eventually!  They even build statues for ordinary people who keep on going in Spain!

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 Eventually- the destination (mine)  is reached- Km 0.00 at Finisterre

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If I could do this, I can do anything! Just keep on going…

Kindness to a Stranger

Ok, take II on this subject…

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My feet were killing me on the Camino de Santiago. Bad blisters were forming underneath older blisters.  It was a hot day in Spain. I was on the stretch to Astorga.

In the heat I came across this guy. People said in the Albergues later on that he left a professional career in Barcelona to come and set up this Oasis of Kindness on the Ancient Pilgrim Trail.  He just greeted me with the words “Anything is possible”, and continued reading his book. But on his stall there were cold water and several fruit juices. There were various fresh fruit. He did not ask a price for anything, if you chose you could leave a “donativo”- a donation. It was so good just getting out of the sun, sitting beneath his battered blue sail, drinking cold water, resting, before the last stretch to Astorga.

This man wanted a life in which he just serves the Peregrinos with love and kindness.

I salute him for his kindness to a weary stranger two years ago…

I was hungry, you gave me food, I was thirsty, you gave me water, I was tired, you gave me rest… Matthew 25

Buen Camino to you too, my friend!

Peaceful… weekly travel theme

Ailsa have this wonderful travel theme for the week; Photos depicting peaceful…

Some of the most peaceful times I have experienced in my life, happened during my Camino de Santiago in 2011. That was what I came looking for!  And I found it, walking the ancient ways alone…

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Peace is shade on the road of life…

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Peace is standing beside still waters…

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Peace is not the absence of a storm, but finding shelter IN the storm…

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Peace is a simple meal when you are hungry…

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Peace is a place to hang your hat, and a safe place to sleep at night.

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Peace is reaching your destiny…

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And yes- peace is stripping off your old clothes, jumping naked into the ocean at Finisterre…

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Peace is found in the ocean, behind the harbour wall, just as I am… the dusty journey behind me…

Climbing 0′ Cebreiro

Climbing 0' Cebreiro

On the Camino de Santiago, the climb up o’Cebreiro is really tough, if you are not that fit, or you carry a 14 kg backpack…

To see a little bit of o’ Cebreiro at the moment- visit the webcam there from the Municipal Albergue here: http://www.crtvg.es/crtvg/camaras-web/o-cebreiro

I see it is a rainy day today, but then: This is Galicea- what did you expect?

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In the webcam’s view  there is a restaurant. The Meson CArolo:img_0689

It is a really good place to be on a rainy day, nice owners, nice hot fireplace going…IMG_0688

Tomorrow- 2 years ago, I boarded the Lufthansa flight via Frankfurt to Madrid for my Camino. I long to go back every single day…

Thinking of you on the route- Buen Camino!

Behind the closed door…

Yesterday actually started in a light mood, but then I had one of the worst case scenario days in ministry…

Today, I am still feeling a little shell-shocked. Compassion fatigue. Call it what you may. I love people. And I hate it when people gets hurt in life.  So today, I am not in that light hearted mood.

So I decided to just share a photo from my Camino de Santiago in 2011 with you all.  I took this picture somewhere in the streets between the cathedral in Léon and the route out further on to San Marcos…

I stress it again that I know nothing of the people staying behind this door… it is just a beautiful old door on the Camino, somewhere in Léon…

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If I walk through ancient places like the smaller towns and cities in Europe, I love to see the people’s doors.  And I imagine what is happening behind that door.

It is obviously an old door, maybe it opened and closed for several generations of a family living there…

  • Most probably a bridegroom carried his bride over the threshold when the house was first built for a newly wedded couple…
  •  Through it the doctor came rushing in, or the expectant mother came rushing out to go to a midwife/hospital to deliver a baby…
  •  This door was closed with great care so that toddlers would not wander off into the street and alleyways…
  •  This door was slammed by more than one teenager, furious for parents who does not like the “significant other” that they love so much with their whole being. When the door slam shut, the universe trembled.
  • There was some decorations on the door, when that teenager brought the right one home, and there was a wedding celebrated.
  •  There was the solemn knock of the priest on the door, bringing the news of a grandparent who passed away.
  •  The door remained shut through illness and diseases that held the family in bed.
  • It swung open happily to let friends enter, inviting them to the dinner feast, celebrating love and life, friendship and good times.
  • It finally admitted the undertaker, and swung slowly shut when the owner of the house passed away…
  • To be happily opened again by a young couple, who bought this house as their first home, to love in, to grow, to celebrate…

From age to age this door swung open, and shut again, ringing in the good times and the bad, in what we call the human existence.

May the people behind this door do everything to celebrate life, and love, and happiness.  May the hate, and the anger, and the hurt stay outside…

May that also be true of YOUR door…