Thread: My Trip
I've been gone the last two weeks, from May 7th to the 19th, on a trip to Europe.
I must say that this experience has changed my life.
I'm only going to give a short summary of what occurred during those 13 days.
I participated in the 2008 Chartres Pilgrimage, a 72 mile walk from Notre Dame in Paris to Notre Dame de Chartres, the Chartres Cathedral, that thousands of Catholics make every year in honor of the Blessed Virgin and God.
I went with a small group of 40-some people from the US, leaving from Newark airport. We stayed in Paris for two days, then began the actual pilgrimage with thousands of people on Saturday the 10th; we finished on the 12th. That was the hardest thing that I have ever done, and probably ever will do. By the time that we were done I had pulled the muscles in both my legs, and was both physically and mentally exhausted. Yet, as we approached the cathedral, all my weariness dropped for a good while. It was so moving to hear the sound of 15,000 Catholics singing the same hymn, after such a grueling march.
After that I went with my group to Malta for 4 days, and then took a ferry to Sicily for 2 days.
There was a lot that happened to me during the trip that has changed who I am. I made friends on this trip that will always be in my prayers and thoughts. They are without a doubt the best friends that anyone could ever ask for, and I am glad to have undergone this entire experience with them.
And now that pilgrimage has tuned you up for 'The Way of Saint James'. The pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela from the Spanish-French border or beyond, but you probably should allow a few weeks or at least a couple of them. Doing it at your 24 miles per day pace would be way too hard on a person and not leave much time for contemplation or sight-seeing. Doing it by bicycle would be fun and a bit faster too.