“THE END IS WHERE WE START FROM”

In my last post about my visit to Cinque Terre I tantalised my readers with the following words :  “I was on the home stretch of Journey 2.   I had one famous sight to see (i.e. Cinque Terre) then it would be a slow return via Italian countryside to Courcheval, through the Mont Blanc tunnel, … Continue reading

COIMBRA – CONCLUSION AND CONTEMPLATION

A few years ago I stood on the path of a labyrinth marked out in a friend’s garden and, looking up at a benevolent full moon, asked the universe what was to become of me. Did I have the courage, resources and wherewithal to give up work, follow a dream and charge out of the … Continue reading

WHEN AN END CAN BE A BEGINNING

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA A group of men in crimson robes adorned with golden scallop shells emerged from the cathedral sacristy and made their way to the altar. There they unhooked a rope attached to a pulley and hoisted up the huge silver “botafumeiro”, the largest incense burner in the world and a famous symbol of … Continue reading

LA COSTA VERDE CONTINUES TO CAPTIVATE

I left Cantabria and travelled further along the north coast of Spain into the Province of Asturias.  The surroundings were so lush I could understand more vividly why this is called the Costa Verde.   When I was not crossing precipitous high ground I drove low between green-brown mountains on my left and a turquoise sea … Continue reading

OPENING MY HEART TO PEOPLE ANCIENT AND MODERN

Santillana del Mar Despite this being one of the prettiest and most visited towns in the Spanish Province of Cantabria, it was really the Altamira Cave that drew me to Santillana del Mar. It was the first cave to be discovered in the world which houses ancient cave paintings made by the first humans, our … Continue reading

At Vézelay : The Unintended Pilgrim

Vézelay rises high on a hill above the surrounding Burgundy countryside, the twin towers of Sainte-Madeleine visible from afar. It has been a beacon for pilgrims for hundreds of years, guiding them to this special place on the road to Santiago de Compostela. Arriving at the village portal one climbs a narrow road by foot … Continue reading