Sunday, November 16, 2014

If I'm right about this

and I think that I am, I've been rained on for 17 straight days. Not, "it's been raining for 17 days", I'VE BEEN RAINED ON FOR 17 DAYS. 

That said, I've had more than my share of sunshine too. All in all, the journey and opportunity of a LIFETIME. Every step of it was a gift and a treasure and a pilgrimage for renewal. I hope that I've treated the Camino as well as its treated me. I tried. Some thoughts as I close it down:

Wouldn't have been remotely possible without the encouragement and huge support of the woman I was blessed to have me as her husband. Thanks a million Trix.

My kids too have had to make significant adjustments in their lives too to make this happen. Thanks Lar and G. It meant a lot!

Pam, my sister - always practically helpful, always encouraging with her big heart.

To those I met along the way; Shote-a, Pasquale & Serge - thanks for figuring out how this thing works with me. We did good, Andy - you are one fast smiling Norwiegen - seeing you brought me joy, Tianna you were a great interpreter and you got my jokes,  Ann - we got an introduction to sideria culture, Jim and Charles - good mates to the end - that meant a lot, Dietlif, Ray & Joshua - you guys are too fast for me but thanks for the excellent comradere - wish I could have seen you at the end.

That's it I think for the camino blog. 

Jay out.


Reminded me of an old joke . . .

As all of my clothes were so smelly and dirty that I wouldn't want to be at an airport in them, much less on an airplane, I had to clean them today. While I was killing time at the laundromat, I took a stroll around the block (don't ask what I was wearing). I came upon this in a baby supply storefront (not open).

Remember these prices are in Euros, not Dollars. €1.25 / $1.00. So, the egg high chair is about $550 and the stroller is about $925. 

Anyway, it reminded me of the old joke from the '80s about cocaine: if you're buying it, it's probably God's way of telling you that you have too much money.

But, now I'm being judgmental. It did remind me of that joke though.

France > USA > Spain

In another important metric: that being "the relative intrinsic beauty of the Catholic Mass". 

Leaving aside the very legitimate question of whether this should be a metric at all, I can say that with only the most basic ability to understand French, the poetry of the prayers, songs, readings & gospel are both soothing and inspiring. The staging, vestments, lighting and music are elegant and flawless. 

Masses in the USA have elements of all this but without the . . . I don't know. . .flow I guess.

In Spain the Masses that I went to all were wonderful to be sure, but they all had an element of chaos to them. Strangely. It was kind of like they hadn't done it before.

On my sister's great advice, I went to Mass at the gorgeous St. Andre Cathedral. It was just too dark for pics. Plus I would have felt very awkward taking photos 

Spain > France > USA

In the important metric of "Laundromat Utility". In Spain (top picture) there are clean and simple places to simply clean your clothing. You put your clothes in the machine, you select from one of four wash cycles and you insert 5€. That's it.

In France (second picture), you have to deal with this Godawful mess in a dirty facility before you even get to the washing machine.

In my limited experience in the USA, it's as bad as France except half the machines don't work anyway and the facilities are even dirtier. 


Saturday, November 15, 2014

This is what I saw

. . . my very last few steps. That door marks the end of the Camino.

Friday, November 14, 2014

While there . . .

is no real "official" starting point that I know of for the Northern route of the Camino, this is the spot from which  many guides start their km countdown. It's the pedestrian bridge from France into Spain. I retraced my first few hours (probably more like 30 minutes) there this morning. I don't think that I got a picture then, so here's one.

In Bordeaux

The imposing St. Michel church. It is under considerable renovation. But I got to go inside. It was beautiful but nowhere near as ornate as many of the churches in Spain.