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Video David is Back! "Why do people walk the Camino"?

Iriebabel

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018
Camino Del Norte & part of Lebaniego 2019
A very thought provoking conversation. I definately had some of the same thoughts in regards to the silence, the spiritual nature, the religious connotations, the magic of this journey if you will. It is the feeling of being free! I suppose this and many other feelings arise but I think for a lot of people It can be describes as Total Freedom! For this short period we have control over our lives, feet and our minds. We find freedom from whatever one needs, freedom from normal life and in these small moments, we briefly find and get what we need... uncomplicated bliss. Religious or not I saw this affect on many fellow walkers On my first camino.

I had a simular feeling at a small chapel during my walk with non stop rain and mud for two weeks on the Frances. ...some nuns invited myself and a German pilgrim, Otto, along with other pilgrims inside The small chapel. The german was suffering from severe blisters but refused to stop walking. For whatever reason he decided to walk the camino He also left a ailing (dying) mother at home who Unselfishly told him he needed to go and walk. .
I remember sitting in the Chapel with Otto. He was overcome with emotion, inconsolable crying But I knew that day he got his answer To whatever question he was seeking an answer for. I knew this was the most PEACE I had ever felt anywhere And maybe it was the same for him. We walked a while longer Together before we said goodbye. He left the camino early Due to severe infection from the blisters. Shortly after This day, he went home and his mother sadly passed away shortly thereafter

I had the same feeling of peace in Santiago Cathedral. I am not Catholic or particular into religion but I am a deeply spiritual person. For me, I don't think the feeling so much has to do with a religion but more of something that touched my soul and what is good in me ...it was the silence and the freedom of the walk. This feeling lives On from those who have come before us, the millions of travelers who for whatever reason decide to take the walk. It touches each of us in different ways.

I can truly say that I was definitely called to walk, I needed to walk, and I need to continue to walk. I now know it is a life camino ...it is what I needed when I needed it! I consider myself lucky, extremely blessed...injuries included.! The walk gave ME back to me!
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
G'day Robo and Partner.Thanks for sharing this video conversation. I was fortunate to meet David on my first time on the Camino Frances (I was riding my bike).
Moderators please bear with me. I feel that some of this conversation should be viewed by all first time pilgrims, especially those on the Frances. I have to agree with the comments by David and friend (sorry missed his name) about some of the churches: Leon and Pamplona I felt enveloped; Burgos I felt lost (and I've been there twice) - it gave me a feeling of a large museum. But the two I love are Los Arcos and Rabanal - so much history but also so much local "love", they are real parish churches. The one I would love to see inside is the little chapel at Cruz de Ferro. If anyone has been inside could you please enlighten me!. Cheers for now.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Again, well done Rob!
A big question to open with, and reflect about.

That sudden experience of being 'undone' in the stillness of an old church - when the ego subsides and there's just awe and openhearted silence - is one of those precious camino gifts. The Iglesia de San Francisco in Villafranca del Bierzo did it to me...and (oh my) the little church in Zabaldika.

Your description of the Burgos cathedral as a museum is perfect. It felt dead to me, and I left feeling saddened rather than uplifted. I found the Iglesia de San Nicolás to be much more alive.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
Again, well done Rob!
A big question to open with, and reflect about.

That sudden experience of being 'undone' in the stillness of an old church - when the ego subsides and there's just awe and openhearted silence - is one of those precious camino gifts. The Iglesia de San Francisco in Villafranca del Bierzo did it to me...and (oh my) the little church in Zabaldika.

Your description of the Burgos cathedral as a museum is perfect. It felt dead to me, and I left feeling saddened rather than uplifted. I found the Iglesia de San Nicolás to be much more alive.
It's almost as if these wonderful buildings carry the emotions and energies of the people who pass through them.

Yes, Burgos and Leon were like that for me too.

A large cathedral in a major city that sees busloads of tourists passing through daily........as opposed to a tiny church on a hilltop somewhere, where the only visitors are likely to be Locals and Pilgrims. Zabaldika, Eunate, Torres del Rio, Navarette, and so many others fall in the latter category for me I think.

Maybe it's all in the mind? I guess it must be! Though I've had the same feelings walking alone across the Mesta, sitting looking over the hills above El Acebo, and many others places. What a special path we are lucky to tread...
 

pelerine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte 10, Primitivo 13, Plata 14+15, Salvador 16, Torres 17, Portugues 18, Mozarabe 19
It becomes considerably less special if you have arrived in the last minute for the pilgrims' mass and are standing (or sitting on the floor) behind the seats and have tourists arriving by the busload milling about and talking quite loudly all over the place......
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
It becomes considerably less special if you have arrived in the last minute for the pilgrims' mass and are standing (or sitting on the floor) behind the seats and have tourists arriving by the busload milling about and talking quite loudly all over the place......
We've all been there. Maybe it's at times like that, that we learn tolerance, patience and not to judge others too harshly ;)
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Ah, That one is very special I think, don't you?
I'm not suggesting there is any science or logic behind it ;)
and it is after all the one we're all walking to...the original purpose of the Camino de Santiago
I would definitely say that makes it very special, despite the at times multitudes of tourists that test the patience.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
It becomes considerably less special if you have arrived in the last minute for the pilgrims' mass and are standing (or sitting on the floor) behind the seats and have tourists arriving by the busload milling about and talking quite loudly all over the place......

you are one of the 'tourists' too you know ... my first time there, late for Mass, a young man saw me standing at the back and insisted on giving me his seat .. but I too do wish people wouldn't chatter in churches!
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I personally loved my tours of both of the cathedrals in Burgos and Leon. No, they did not particularly evoke spiritual, reflective thoughts within me, but I had no problem seeing them more as museums and marvelled at their beauty...in fact I have read many praises and encouragements to visit other museums on or near the Caminos on this forum, so I have no problem and fully appreciated their interiors.
I do agree it is the small chapels that are more contemplative and special for me, providing more spiritual moments of reflection. I love it when I walk up to their doors and find many of them unlocked. They seem to say "Come on in, you are welcome in this place".
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
As an architectural historian it has been my professional privilege and personal pleasure to visit some incredible structures, but the small chapel of Santa Maria de Eunate is beyond them all. Set within a natural bowl unknown craftsmen using ocher sandstone have crafted a small circular church surrounded by an octagonal cloister.

Here pilgrims have worshiped for one thousand years. For me, as for those multitudes, Eunate is close to paradise on earth.

Below is my blog entry from October 18, 2011, when pilgrims could eat and stay in the albergue and join an evening service.

" Here I will spend the night in the tiny albergue
All day was spent enjoying the small, perfect church of Santa Maria de Eunate and its surrounding. This thousand year old circular structure with an octagonal cloister is timeless. Set within a natural bowl the ocher sandstone walls blend into the almost sculpted nearby fields planted with corn and fennel. Here is found the simple peace of eternity.

In the evening four other pilgrims and I shared warm hospitality in the simple albergue. Our two hospitaleros from Strasbourg served an outstanding supper. Afterwards we held a candlelit prayer service in the mystic church giving thanks for our Caminos, our lives and our loves. Later as we each fell asleep on the albergue floor mats we pilgrims remarked on our luck and pleasure in sharing such precious moments. ...I thought how wonderful it had been to visit this beloved place once again. May peace reign here another thousand years."

Indeed, may it be so and may we find the simple peace of eternity at our journey's end.
 
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JPL

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Oct 2015; Camino dos Faros July 2019
Very thought provoking conversation. One of the highlights of my 2015 Camino was an opportunity to attend mass at Ermita Virgen de la Pena (Our Lady of the Crag) in Tosantos. Although it is usually locked and off limits to pilgrims, we were accompanied by a Catholic priest who was walking the Camino, and he arranged for a mass inside this beautiful church carved in the side of a mountain.
1596907458880.png
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Very thought provoking conversation. One of the highlights of my 2015 Camino was an opportunity to attend mass at Ermita Virgen de la Pena (Our Lady of the Crag) in Tosantos. Although it is usually locked and off limits to pilgrims, we were accompanied by a Catholic priest who was walking the Camino, and he arranged for a mass inside this beautiful church carved in the side of a mountain.
View attachment 80426
Wow! I've seen it twice from afar. I had no clue you could actually get up next to it, let alone attend a mass...lucky you!
 

JPL

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Oct 2015; Camino dos Faros July 2019
yeah, apparently timing is everything! I stayed that night at the St Francisco de Asis donatavio. After a great meal, a few of us were asked if we wanted to walk up a hill (approx 20 minute walk) to see this church that was inside a mountain. We had no idea it was going to be open or that there would be a mass. They were adamant about no cameras or photos inside.
 


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