I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Signs And Markers

I was pleased to see that the Swiss care for the toads crossing their roads...




At Compesières I passed the church of Saint Sylvester and the commandry of the Order of Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem...




And in Charrot I marvelled at this plot of artichokes. I had no idea they wore these purple crowns...




On all the Caminos you'll find cathedrals, churches, chapels, calvaries, sanctuaries, shrines and simple crosses like this...




Here the pilgrim is invited to stamp his or her pilgrim passport (or créanciale or credential)...




I soon arrived at the Swiss-French border. It was a simple matter to side-step the red and white barrier. Not a soul was in sight, neither pilgrim nor customs officer...




... so I didn't have to produce one single document of identification...




This sign at Les Combes proved that, authenticated or not, I was at least on the right track...




Hey, only 1854 more km to Santiago!




These helpful signboards cropped up continually along the route...


12 comments:

Ruth said...

Re: the toad sign, are they afraid you’ll step on one?

The aubergine flowers are wonderful! I didn’t know either.

Seeing the Swiss-French border, I am reminded of the WWII movie with Jimmie Stewart and Margaret Sullavan called “The Mortal Storm” when they cross the Alps from Germany into Switzerland on skis to escape the Nazis, also on skis.

1854 km! I read in A Time of Gifts yesterday how quickly Fermor felt that he got through Holland; it seemed to be a few days, and that would have been a few hundred kms, I’m guessing. The perspective of this kind of distance on foot is impressive and surprising. It must be very gratifying.

Rachel Fox said...

I adore aubergines!
Unfortunate rubber stamp translation...
I took so many photos of signs on our long trip. I have enough for several books!
x

Ruth said...

You walked half way across France!

Johnnie Walker said...

Roberto - thanks for sharing this journey. My main interest has been walking camino routes in Spain but that may change with inspiration such as this.

Best regards

John

The Solitary Walker said...

Ruth, cars squish one more like! Those aubergine flowers were a revelation. "A Time of Gifts' is one my all-time favourite books. I love it. There's nothing like walking through a country to really get to know it.

Hi Rachel! Another aubergine admirer...

JW, so many Caminos, so little time. I love reading about all your own Camino journeys.

George said...

The aubergine flowers are magnificent and I love the variety of signs and markers. Collectively, the signs and markers are signaling to me that I should begin my Camino in Geneva. Thanks for all of these journal entries, Robert. They keep me inspired daily.

ksam said...

I too am stunned by the aubergines..eggplants...the ones I've ever grown had simple 5 petal light purple blooms...these look almost like thistles! And perhaps the sign with the frogs/toads is to protect yet another edible delicacy???

The Solitary Walker said...

I believe you speak some French and German, George? All to the good if so - for this is a route where little English is spoken (except by some German and Swiss pilgrims.) It's a spectacular journey, and I thoroughly recommend it! Thanks, as always, for your appreciative comments.

Karin - ah, yes, they may be frogs,I wasn't sure!

The Solitary Walker said...

PS Johnnie - called in at the pilgrim office in Southwark before I left where, of course, they knew you!

Suman said...

The aubergine 'crowns' are beautiful! Didn't know they bloom in this kind too, since back home in India they just resemble regular purple flowers.

The photo and your experience of the no-fuss border made me smile. And warmed my heart a little too, especially after one reads about our countless tragedies at the Indo-Pak border.

Carter said...

It is always a pleasure to hear of a new (old) Way. Thank you.

I wonder if your Aubergines might actually be Artichokes of the thistle family.

800km left me wanting more. 1854km has an almost irresistible allure.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, Suman and Carter, for your comments. Of course I meant artichokes and have amended that now. Don't know why I wrote aubergines!