A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Friday, 8 June 2012

Signs Along The Way

The white-on-red blaze or balise or waymark symbol of the French Grande Randonnée footpath network. I've followed these welcome and reassuring signs all along the GR 65 from Geneva in Switzerland to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France, a distance of almost 1100 km. This path coincides with the French Chemin de Saint-Jacques.

A scallop shell sign (concha de Santiago in Spanish and coquille Saint-Jacques in French) marks the 'Way of St James' (known in Spanish as El Camino de Santiago and in French as Le Chemin de Saint-Jacques).

Next to this springtime spray of yellow broom stands an old stone cross — one of the hundreds if not thousands of crosses you pass along the Way. Pilgrims often place small stones on, around and at the base of these crosses. 

'Joy resides not in things, but in us.'

Perhaps I'll leave this poem for our friend Goat to translate as he's trying to learn French at the moment? (As usual, please click to enlarge.)

'Sarkozy, you will be judged by history.'


Ruth said...

A little politics on the spiritual path, I see.

The message about joy residing in us, not in things, is perfect for the path and for general purposes.

The Solitary Walker said...

Yes — it was the French election while I was there, of course...

I think that message is important. It helps us realise that joy can be accessed from within, that it's not completely dependent on outside things.

Goat said...

Just before I got to that picture I was thinking, "Man, this blog is really good for my French" - but dear God, that's quite a challenge you've set me! I'll get back to you - I like a challenge.

It's funny how even graffiti is improved by being scrawled in French, isn't it? Another coincidence: I've been thinking about doing an occasional post of mostly images based on a theme. Certain ones turn up over and over in my walking pictures - and yes, trail signs and blazes is one. There's something so reassuring and almost friendly about them...

Now, where's my French dictionary?

The Solitary Walker said...

Sorry, Goat, I couldn't resist..! You probably know my warped and sadistic sense of humour by now.

I really like graffiti, and there's lots of it along the Way. Much of it even of the intelligent kind!