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El Camino del Anillo - Lord of the Rings Pilgrimage in Spain?

Camino(s) past & future
Frances (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18), Madrid (19) + more
"The Way of the Ring"
Recently found out about this Tolkien-inspired Camino near Madrid.
Website for El Camino del Anillo

Located in the Sierra de Norte de Madrid, the "Camino del Anillo" is a thematic route, a pilgrimage of 122 Kms to be done on foot. Inspired by JRR Tolkien's work, titled "The Lord of the Rings," the trail evokes the great story of the hobbit Frodo and the company of the ring.

The path allows you to travel to the mythical middle earth where mediums, elves or orcs walked. Moria, Rivendel, the Shire, Hobbiton, the peak of the winds and many more key places in the film will make you feel like the protagonist of your inner and outer journey as you discover a fascinating nature and develop a sense of wonder, beauty and care.

The "Camino del Anillo" is a pilgrimage organized by the Laudato Si Foundation belonging to the Archbishopric of Madrid. Their mission is to share the teachings of Pope Francis on Caring for the Common House published in his Encyclical Laudato Si.


Thoughts?
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I lived for some years in rural Oxfordshire, the countryside around Oxford portrayed in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings, written by an Oxford don. I was a little surprised, when I visited New Zealand, years later, to find that tours were being sold there to visit the area where the movies were filmed and see the film set, greatly tarted up to show the tourists. A few yars earlier, the main set of the second film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy was on display in the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. I would think that by now everyone who wished to had got what money there was out of this terrific movie series. Walk where you will, but if I desire to see the Shire again, I shall return to Oxfordshire to do so. For this time of pandemic, I have DVDs of the movies to watch at home. I think I'll start this evening.

Edited to add: I did indeed start watching my DVDs again, beginning with the first of the Hobbit DVDs. I enjoyed it so much that I ordered the other two Hobbit DVDs, which I shall await to fill me in on the story before I go on to rewatch the Lord of the Rings videos: great entertainment for a time of pandemic.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I lived for some years in rural Oxfordshire, the countryside around Oxford portrayed in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings, written by an Oxford don. I was a little surprised, when I visited New Zealand, years later, to find that tours were being sold there to visit the area where the movies were filmed and see the film set, greatly tarted up to show the tourists. A few yars earlier, the main set of the second film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy was on display in the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. I would think that by now everyone who wished to had got what money there was out of this terrific movie series. Walk where you will, but if I desire to see the Shire again, I shall return to Oxfordshire to do so. For this time of pandemic, I have DVDs of the movies to watch at home. I think I'll start this evening.
While agreeing with you in principle, I would note that the wine is likely to be better on the "Camino del Anillo" than in Oxfordshire. *Tangent 1- apparently the area around Strangford Loch in Northern Ireland is said to be the model for Narnia-- whether or not that is so, it would justify a hike. Tangent 2- I would love to see @Sara_Dhooma 's videos on the "Camino del Anillo"
 
While agreeing with you in principle, I would note that the wine is likely to be better on the "Camino del Anillo" than in Oxfordshire. *Tangent 1- apparently the area around Strangford Loch in Northern Ireland is said to be the model for Narnia-- whether or not that is so, it would justify a hike. Tangent 2- I would love to see @Sara_Dhooma 's videos on the "Camino del Anillo"
It is so.C S Lewis was born in Belfast.Seasons 1 to 8 of the Game of Thrones were filmed at 25 locations in N Ireland.We have some stunning scenery here,well worth a visit.
 

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've been to Dubruvnik, Croatia, and it also was a filming location for "The Game of Thrones". A tour was offered, which I did not participate in.
 

Becky 59

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2018)
Camino Ingles (Aug 2019)
All of these travel suggestions in Europe are making this US resident wishing she could go right now! What a wonderful world we live in, with so many wonderful places to point our feet!
 

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)
Thoughts?
They're not really worth sharing. 🙃
Except to say that I would need two lifetimes to walk all the Caminos with genuine non-fictional histories.
So, no thanks.

(Nothing against Tolkien— in fact I'm a fan—but Spain is Spain not Middle Earth.)
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
This "Camino del Anillo" project strikes me as a rather odd thing. A mixture of Tolkien's writings and Pope Francis' encyclical Laudato si' of 2015 about taking care of our common environment and society as the basis and under the umbrella of a Laudato Si organisation that belongs to the Archbishopry of Madrid. Judging by the website, it sounds like it is primarily meant for groups from parishes, schools and youth organisations, with or without a priest who accompanies the group, but they say that one can also walk it on one's own. I tried to download their guide but the link did not work.

I see that an article was published by Vatican News some two weeks ago, and in recent days it has found its way into Spanish newspapers and a time.out article in English. No mention of pilgrim albergues and signage as far as I can make out. This may be a Camino like no other. ☺

https://www.vaticannews.va/es/igles...i-camino-del-anillo-liberarnos-esclaviza.html
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
OK, this starts to make more sense now: Vatican News has a very recent interview (in French) with a Dominican friar, Frère Philippe Verdin, who published a book last year with the title Mon précieux! Bonne nouvelle en Terre du Milieu (perhaps: My precious! Good news in Middle Earth, and I think Good News can also mean the New Testament) and they refer to the Camino del Anillo in Spain. I also read in Wikipedia that Tolkien's belief in the fundamental truths of Christianity leads commentators to find Christian themes in The Lord of the Rings.

News to me. I read the books many years ago ... and while they made exciting reading most of the time I also got occasionally quite bored and skipped numerous pages.
 
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AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
visit the area where the movies were filmed
Without any particular intention I have passed two specific locations where LOTR filming took place.

One was directly across a small body of water from the Queenstown motel we were staying in. The scene was where the villagers (men, women and children) were trekking away to a place of safety, along narrow tracks past some tarns (small bodies of water).

Another I pass every time I walk up (or down - about 30 km from sea level to around 100 meters above) the Hutt River Trail in Wellington. In the movie the scene was Helm Deep and the heroes were standing atop the rampart looking outwards at the fleeing attackers. The site is a quarry with a few props (such as the rampart) constructed for the duration. There is an major arterial road less than 200 metres from their vision, across the Hutt River my path is another 200 metres away, with housing, light industry and the gorse clad eastern Hutt hills visible over the next 800 metres for the victorious defenders to actually contemplate in their moment of triumph.

I can assure you no one is selling tours to either of these two places.

Nor to the site in bush (a forest) on a hill near the middle if Wellington's CBD where the first scene to be shot is still there in its natural state. Early in the first movie the hobbits are hiding from their would be captors under the roots of a tree that obstructs the vision of the riders above. The tree, its roots and the paths above and below are original before the movie was even thought of: there is now some very discreet signage marking the place. And, seeking out some new routes, I overcame my reluctance and passed on in a recent journey.

I am with Viranani and will not be darkening the route of El camino del anillo.

But, if it gets people out and some get infected with ideas of pilgrimage, can that be a bad thing.

Kia kaha tatou (you all take care, be strong, get going when you can)
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
I think the whole concept behind the Camino del Anillo has less to do with scenes of shooting the movie and more to do with the reading material. Type Tolkien and the title of the papal encyclical Laudato Si' into Google search and you get 41.000 hits.

Here's one example: Do J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’ have similar messages? Currents correspondent Katie Breidenbach speaks with a Catholic writer who believes so.

 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
And here is the link to the museum or centre of interpretation in the village of El Molar where the walk should begin: https://elmuseodeloscuentos.es/exposiciones/ . Two floors, they say, one is dedicated to stories, myths and legends and the other one to understanding Tolkien's work. I don't think that they are aiming for an international audience.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Based on Tolkien’s time resident at Stonyhurst College in the Ribble Valley (Lancashire, England) some locations thereabouts have been identified as inspiration for locations in The Hobbit (more than LOTR).

As I was born and brought up nearby I can confirm that the town of Preston might well have been the inspiration for Mordor. Most towns are ‘twinned’ with others whilst Preston has a suicide pact.
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
To me, there are two aspects in this:
- the walking
- Lord of the rings

I'm a happily married man, so my 2nd biggest passion in life is walking. I never seem to stop enjoying that. And I don't have to, thanks to my 1st passion, who grants me to live my 2nd passion over and over again.

Second: I also love to enjoy Lord of the rings. But in a very oldfashioned way: by reading it, using a analog device. It's called 'book'. For those who are not my age: a 'book' is a pile of fax messages. O, a fax? It's a kind of ..... nevermind. Let's just say I'm fond of feeling a book, smelling it, turning it over a couple of times to let the cover sink in, before I actually start reading. And, when I'm done, loving every tear and coffee stain.

Personally, I'd like to take another walk and I'd like to 'revisit' Lord of the Rings. But I just don't like to combine the two, the Lord of the rings just being too heavy to carry around.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (from home; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Here's a map of the circuit and a photo of the archbishop of Madrid and other clergy who had recently inaugurated the Camino del Anillo and an exhibition. As I understand it, there are camps for the younger kids in various places and the circuit of some 100+ km is walked only by the older groups (17-18+ years). Lots of comments about J.R.R. Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings but none about the encyclical so far 🤔. It's only a few pages to read and the paper it is written on doesn't really weigh much. 🤭

Circuit.jpg
Archbishop.jpg
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
Tolkien got around a bit - I’ve seen It suggested that he might have taken inspiration for the Shire from South Africa‘s Eastern Cape or from the Warwickshire countryside that he knew as a boy. Perhaps it’s pointless to look for the “real” Shire when we can find scenes that we find reminiscent of the Shire in every corner of the world. I grew up with a vague notion that my village was not far from where the hobbits roamed and I’m glad that kids in Spain grow up with the same fantasy.


 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18), Madrid (19) + more
I've emailed the organization asking for more information about suitability for individual walkers.

I don't mind if the trail has no "true" connection to Lord of the Rings. It seems more about enjoying the lovely Sierra Norte vistas and using your imagination. I would definitely embrace the fun and add some middle-earth flair to my hiking outfit! :cool:

TimeOut article in English
"""As well as celebrating the breathtaking natural landscape of central Spain, the Ring Road has been created to reboot tourism in a depopulated part of the country, with hikers encouraged to stay in locally-run hotels and hostels along the way. """
 

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