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Windows shut

domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
I recently read (but cannot find the thread any more) that some of you thought the French were notorious for insisting on closed windows at night.

I am French. And one of my biggest bugbears sleeping in albergues was not the snoring, the lights on at 5 am, the plastic bags.... It was this closing the windows!!!
I need, especially when I sleep with another 8 to 10 people at night, the window open! I have even been known to tie the window open to my bed with my washing line!!! Honestly, it was sooooo hot and it wasn’t healthy to keep it shut, as well as suffocating!

I never asked the nationality of the pilgrims who insisted on shutting it, one sure thing is that they weren’t French. On all my Caminos, I have only made friends with two French people, one was sleeping in a tent, the other one wanted the window open, like me. No question.

So as a matter of interest, and because I have nothing else to do at the moment 😅, what on earth made you think we French like the windows shut???😁
 
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JPL

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Camino Frances Oct 2015; Camino dos Faros July 2019
Good post domigee. I have nothing else to do at the moment either (except research my potential Camino Norte trip for hopefully next year). On the Frances in 2015, I also found myself needing air several times during the first few nights on the Camino, and actually played the 'open and close' game a couple nights with some other pilgrims. I soon learned that the best action was to walk early, be one of the first to arrive at the albergue each afternoon, and stake out a bed nearest the window, so i could a) monitor whether it is open or closed, and b) occasionally stick my head outside for a few deep breaths when necessary.
 
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I recently read (but cannot find the thread any more) that some of you thought the French were notorious for insisting on closed windows at night.

I am French. And one of my biggest bugbears sleeping in albergues was not the snoring, the lights on at 5 am, the plastic bags.... It was this closing the windows!!! I need, especially when I sleep with another 8 to 10 people at night, the window open! I have even been known to tie the window open to my bed with my washing line!!! Honestly, it was sooooo hot and it wasn’t healthy to keep it shut, as well as suffocating!

I never asked the nationality of the pilgrims who insisted on shutting it, one sure thing is that they weren’t French. On all my Caminos, I have only made friends with two French people, one was sleeping in a tent, the other one wanted the window open, like me. No question.

So as a matter of interest, and because I have nothing else to do at the moment 😅, what on earth made you think we French like the windows shut???😁
1600288279510.png 1600288337772.png 1600288360147.png 1600288376814.png 1600288279510.png 1600288337772.png 1600288360147.png 1600288376814.png
 

Albertagirl

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My first night on any camino was at Orisson, in 2015. I shared a small, crowded dormitory with 8 or 10 other walkers. From speaking to them (I am Canadian and French-speaking, at that time having fairly recently moved west from 10 years in Montreal) it seemed to me that most were French. I was not next to any window and was very uncomfortable, from the windows all being latched shut. It being September and warm, the room was stifling and I could not sleep. Finally, as morniing approached, I noticed that the window in the small attached toilet could be opened and that the door into the dormitory from there was near my bottom bunk. I left that door open and got some sleep for the remainder of the night. After that night, I don't recall any night when the combination of a small and stuffy room with a the windows latched shut kept me awake. I acknowledge the unwisdom of making conclusions about people from a short experience of a small random selection of members of their national group.
The next year, I walked to Santiago from Oloron Ste Marie in France, and my last night on that camino I had a similar experience. I shared a room in Monte de Gozo with a French woman who had walked from France. Because she had only brought a sheet sac for bedding, to lighten her load, she needed the windows shut on that November night, to keep warm. Again, I was quite uncomfortable, but I do not recall making any judgement about the French and latched windows on that occasion: just that it was an uncomfortable night, as I still had to use my sleeping bag, to have something over me. But by then I could sleep in any situation and knew that members of any national group are capable of doing random things in a dormitory which could no longer keep me awake.
 
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biarritzdon

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I have run into to it several times, yes to getting there early and staking out a window, then make it imposslbe for someone to get up in the middle of the night and close it with out making a lot of noise or falling flat on their face. I am a fresh air person at night. I have found the Spanish are the preeminent offenders no the French.
 
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MichaelB10398

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Le Puy to Santiago de Compostela, Lourdes to SdC, SJPP to SdC
I lived in southern France for a few years and my only recollection regarding this topic was that the French often have their windows open.
The reality is that individuals have individual preferences regardless of nationality. I suspect we could find folks from every country that are on both sides of the issue.
As for me, even in winter, I keep a window open in the bedroom. I just sleep better the colder it is.
 
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mjal

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Kiwi-family

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I thought all Europeans and non-Americans liked the windows shut.

Hehe!

😉🙃😉
I'm a Kiwi and window-opener so that debunks that theory;-)

Incidentally, I went to lunch at a Spaniard's place. He had the shutters wide open...when suddenly....straight after serving gazpacho, he marched over to the window and stated most firmly "I have to close these".....our meal continued in dim gloom! Apparently he had watched us open windows in the first albergue we stayed in together three years prior to that (he then closed them when we went out to pick blackberries!) - his observation that we liked the windows open was spot on! But then we don't have extreme heat that makes you look for shadows to walk in, or blizzards that need to be kept out.
 
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The worst place for me was at La Faba. The windows opened inwards, and had wide window sills, so people had put stuff on them.

The large dorm was full, all the windows had been closed, and when I woke up the dorm stank.

I didn’t dare move anyone’s stuff to open a window, so I had to go and sit outside until people started moving around. I will never stay there again just for this reason.
 
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Strange topic. In my experience there were those who travelled and slept in Winter rated sleeping bags and demanded windows be kept open and those who slept in liners or none who didn't.
Just as there were those who were unprepared to share a cheap room with people who snore, awakening others in their attempts to stop the snorers from snoring, whilst merrily rattling the rafters themselves when they did drop off.

To complain of the niff in these tightly packed dorms shows a total lack of some basic education on this type of overnight life in these circumstances.
 
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I recently read (but cannot find the thread any more) that some of you thought the French were notorious for insisting on closed windows at night.

I am French. And one of my biggest bugbears sleeping in albergues was not the snoring, the lights on at 5 am, the plastic bags.... It was this closing the windows!!!
I need, especially when I sleep with another 8 to 10 people at night, the window open! I have even been known to tie the window open to my bed with my washing line!!! Honestly, it was sooooo hot and it wasn’t healthy to keep it shut, as well as suffocating!

I never asked the nationality of the pilgrims who insisted on shutting it, one sure thing is that they weren’t French. On all my Caminos, I have only made friends with two French people, one was sleeping in a tent, the other one wanted the window open, like me. No question.

So as a matter of interest, and because I have nothing else to do at the moment 😅, what on earth made you think we French like the windows shut???😁

Perhaps in connection with "Gardez l'eau" ? Forgive the spelling, I am Irish! :)

samarkand.
 

mjal

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF : stages 2008, 2017, 2018 ; completed.
And here was I thinking that it was the Korean ladies that kept shutting the windows :D I am a Kiwi and I definitely wanted them open until the mosquitoes started coming in and then I also closed them after the German lady opened them.
I forgot to mention the mosquito problem in my post.

Does anyone know why insect screens are universal (I think) in North America but rare in Europe? We saw window mesh in 2 hotels in Germany ( on the Bodensee) but none that we recollect in Spain.
 
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Jomas

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VF many times. Monaco-Lindau '15. Assisi-Pietralcina '17. CF '18.
Surely it's the Italians who keep the windows closed? 😂
Just kidding, I don't think that any single nationality is to blame.

maybe maybe .... we are also the ones who whisper (to us it seems so but for the others we are talking aloud) until late, the ones who leave the lights on and early in the morning we rummage through our backpacks and make noise. (some could say that we are also the ones who use mint essential oil) 🤣😂😂

@trecile , I'm kidding too ;)

I never had to argue for a closed or open window. Of course, I also prefer a re-circulation of air in the room, regardless of the number of people occupying it. For me it is synonymous with healthiness.
In my family's houses it has always been like this, even in winter.
Now I say so, but when I was a child and I woke up, wrapped in that pleasant warmth under the covers,
when I got up I made an impressive speedy gonzales's sprint to reach the bathroom (hot).
My room looked like an igloo ..... blessed my grandmother!
But I'll be careful on my next steps and I'll try to figure out if there are any French people in my room:rolleyes:😁🙃
 
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I recently read (but cannot find the thread any more) that some of you thought the French were notorious for insisting on closed windows at night.

I am French. And one of my biggest bugbears sleeping in albergues was not the snoring, the lights on at 5 am, the plastic bags.... It was this closing the windows!!!
I need, especially when I sleep with another 8 to 10 people at night, the window open! I have even been known to tie the window open to my bed with my washing line!!! Honestly, it was sooooo hot and it wasn’t healthy to keep it shut, as well as suffocating!

I never asked the nationality of the pilgrims who insisted on shutting it, one sure thing is that they weren’t French. On all my Caminos, I have only made friends with two French people, one was sleeping in a tent, the other one wanted the window open, like me. No question.

So as a matter of interest, and because I have nothing else to do at the moment 😅, what on earth made you think we French like the windows shut???😁
In our house, it's the cat that decides!
She likes the window open
I don't know what nationality she is though!
 
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Jomas

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VF many times. Monaco-Lindau '15. Assisi-Pietralcina '17. CF '18.
Does anyone know why insect screens are universal (I think) in North America but rare in Europe? We saw window mesh in 2 hotels in Germany ( on the Bodensee) but none that we recollect in Spain.

I would not say that they are rare .... it may depend on the area you are in ... with a drier and more ventilated climate, the need for insect screens is less felt to protect from mosquitoes and other flying insects.
It may be that the use of them spread after other continents ...
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
I have never understood why, especially during summer Camino walks, why anyone would want to close the albergue windows at night and sleep in hot, smelly, stifling air. The health issue alone should deter it. On multiple Caminos I never once encountered a mosquito. I don't think there's any danger of bats or wild animals coming in? I have even observed it to lead to heated arguments between pilgrims in an albergue. One pilgrim insisted all the doors and windows be shut. The other five or six wanted them open. One would think majority would rule but the lone window and door closer would not budge and finally just gathered their kit and left. Good riddance was my thought at the time. I have even reopened windows at night in an albergue that had been covertly closed.
Any diehard albergue window closers out there care to enlighten the forum as to why it is better? Is it cultural? Is it upbringing?
 
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The other five or six wanted them open. One would think majority would rule but the lone window and door closer would not budge and finally just gathered their kit and left.
A fair way to handle this is

"We'll all get our fair share of the windows. I'll open them for an hour at 10. Ingrid you get to open them for a hour at 11. Juan, you get ... And you get to close the windows for an hour at 4."
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I recently read (but cannot find the thread any more) that some of you thought the French were notorious for insisting on closed windows at night.

I am French. And one of my biggest bugbears sleeping in albergues was not the snoring, the lights on at 5 am, the plastic bags.... It was this closing the windows!!!
I need, especially when I sleep with another 8 to 10 people at night, the window open! I have even been known to tie the window open to my bed with my washing line!!! Honestly, it was sooooo hot and it wasn’t healthy to keep it shut, as well as suffocating!

I never asked the nationality of the pilgrims who insisted on shutting it, one sure thing is that they weren’t French. On all my Caminos, I have only made friends with two French people, one was sleeping in a tent, the other one wanted the window open, like me. No question.

So as a matter of interest, and because I have nothing else to do at the moment 😅, what on earth made you think we French like the windows shut???😁

Beats me! I like the windows open, unless it is freezing cold and I have insufficient blankets.
 

lt56ny

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CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I have a great solution but hopefully most people won't follow it. Also most people do not have this luxury either. I have slept in albergues that were crowded with closed windows that got so hot and smelled so badly I thought I would die.
Now I start Caminos in mid October and if I can (I am 66 and waiting for the vaccine) I will walk the VDLP starting late February or very early March. This will really help alleviate albergues being too crowded and too hot. I have no problem walking alone and not seeing alot of Pilgrims. Personally I would also rather sleep in a colder albergue in a sleeping bag and my clothes than a hot and stuffy one. Just my preference.
 
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Albertagirl

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I have a great solution but hopefully most people won't follow it. Also most people do not have this luxury either. I have slept in albergues that were crowded with closed windows that got so hot and smelled so badly I thought I would die.
Now I start Caminos in mid October and if I can (I am 66 and waiting for the vaccine) I will walk the VDLP starting late February or very early March. This will really help alleviate albergues being too crowded and too hot. I have no problem walking alone and not seeing alot of Pilgrims. Personally I would also rather sleep in a colder albergue in a sleeping bag and my clothes than a hot and stuffy one. Just my preference.
I have also been considering beginning my next camino, the Levante, in next February or March. Most of the albergues on that camiino are currently closed and have been so for some time, I now have the option of staying in less expensive hostals or hotels, more of which (not all) are open. From my experience in walking the VdlP, the season for the albergues to be open is fairly short, even in ordinary years. Who knows what the situation will be in a Holy Year, which is also in a (hopefully) post pandemic year? You may want to consider the availability of accommodation as one issue in when you decide to walk next year.
 

C clearly

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Does anyone know why insect screens are universal (I think) in North America but rare in Europe?
Not so, everywhere. I live in a mild and often damp climate. We have no screens. Insects are not a problem. Several times each year (not more), we will chase a mosquito around the bedroom at night before we can go to sleep. Those nights the window is closed. However, my relatives in other parts of Canada cannot imagine not having screens. (In some cases, mosquitos are jokingly called the provincial bird!)
 

trecile

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Now I start Caminos in mid October and if I can (I am 66 and waiting for the vaccine) I will walk the VDLP starting late February or very early March.
I'll be surprised if a vaccine is widely available that early, though I've read that Mexico will be getting 32 million doses of the Russian vaccine starting in November.

Though the Ministry of Health denies it
 

lt56ny

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I'll be surprised if a vaccine is widely available that early, though I've read that Mexico will be getting 32 million doses of the Russian vaccine starting in November.

Though the Ministry of Health denies it
You are right it is wishful thinking for March. After being in healthcare for many years at this point there is no way I would get the Russian vaccine based on their safety, oversight and transparency.
 
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lt56ny

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I have also been considering beginning my next camino, the Levante, in next February or March. Most of the albergues on that camiino are currently closed and have been so for some time, I now have the option of staying in less expensive hostals or hotels, more of which (not all) are open. From my experience in walking the VdlP, the season for the albergues to be open is fairly short, even in ordinary years. Who knows what the situation will be in a Holy Year, which is also in a (hopefully) post pandemic year? You may want to consider the availability of accommodation as one issue in when you decide to walk next year.
Thanks I will definitely be checking into the availability of albergues. I will take extra time to walk and if I have to 2 short days to insure availability I have no problem doing that. If there is no choice but a 30+ k day then I also have no problem taking a cab for 10 k or do to cut the distance down. I will be 67 next year and my 30k or more days are behind me. Thanks
 

lt56ny

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Not so, everywhere. I live in a mild and often damp climate. We have no screens. Insects are not a problem. Several times each year (not more), we will chase a mosquito around the bedroom at night before we can go to sleep. Those nights the window is closed. However, my relatives in other parts of Canada cannot imagine not having screens. (In some cases, mosquitos are jokingly called the provincial bird!)
I lived in Puerto Vallarta for almost 5 years and now live by Lake Chapala also in Mexico. Here anyone who can afford it has screens.
 

domigee

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2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
I forgot to mention the mosquito problem in my post.

Does anyone know why insect screens are universal (I think) in North America but rare in Europe? We saw window mesh in 2 hotels in Germany ( on the Bodensee) but none that we recollect in Spain.
I haven’t noticed them in Northern Spain and I don’t have any on the southEast coast of Spain but they are a necessity in Andalucia, especially in the countryside. From memory I think every house had them, we certainly did.
 

NorthernLight

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The fear of night air could be a survival strategy in collective memory, related to the fact that moist cooler air in the night can trigger asthmatic reactions in some. In ancient days, asthma would simply be some kind of lung infection and would trigger the learned/instinct for closing of windows. At this time of the year, I cannot sit outside in the evening without feeling as if my lungs are seizing up.

But leave a window open a bit, please.
 
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At home (Australia/Thailand) we sleep with windows closed.
In fact they are rarely open. Mosquitoes! I am a magnet for them.
I can't imagine leaving the windows open at night (even with screens)

I am yet to try Albergues.
I suspect I might not last the night before I am beaten to death by the anti-snoring brigade :eek:
 
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I forgot to mention the mosquito problem in my post.

Does anyone know why insect screens are universal (I think) in North America but rare in Europe? We saw window mesh in 2 hotels in Germany ( on the Bodensee) but none that we recollect in Spain.

Lack of Mosquitos? (at least of the biting variety)
I am from the UK originally and have lived in Germany for 4 years.
Never had a problem with Mosquitoes.

At home (Australia/Thailand) if I am outside at dusk I get eaten alive.........
 

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In my experience there were those who travelled and slept in Winter rated sleeping bags and demanded windows be kept open and those who slept in liners or none who didn't.
This is probably one of the biggest reasons for the "window open/window closed" issue. I hadn't thought of that before.
 

Camino Chrissy

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BTW, I have walked five caminos and have never encountered even one mosquito in Spain or France during April and May.
 
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trecile

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Divide pilgrims by gender?
🤣

It's a rare pleasure when this happens. The nuns at Carrion de los Condes run the only place I've encounteted this.......
When I was there in 2016 the municipal albergue in Ponferrada had one room for women only, but it was already full by the time I got there.
 

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When I was there in 2016 the municipal albergue in Ponferrada had one room for women only, but it was already full by the time I got there.
The albergue at Zabaldika had the rooms separated for male and female. It's been my only experience staying in one.
 

Albertagirl

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The albergue of the Benedictine nuns at Leon had three dormitories: women, men and couples. But when I last stayed there, one young man insisted on spending considerable time in the women's dormitory while we were trying to get undressed for bed. He had claimed a plug for his personal use in charging his phone, and refused to leave the room.
 
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The albergue of the Benedictine nuns at Leon had three dormitories: women, men and couples. But when I last stayed there, one young man insisted on spending considerable time in the women's dormitory while we were trying to get undressed for bed. He had claimed a plug for his personal use in charging his phone, and refused to leave the room.

How disrespectful!
I would have diplomatically booted that young fellow out of the room. 🤨
 
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Albertagirl

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How disrespectful!
I would have diplomatically booted that young fellow out of the room. 🤨
Well, I tried to boot him out, not so diplomatically, with no success at all. It was clear what his priority was.
 
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domigee

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2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Well, I tried to boot him out, not so diplomatically, with no success at all. It was clear what his priority was.
Oh how awful. I am sorry you had to go through this.
Happened to me once, can’t remember where but not far from Santiago. First Camino. All women in the dormitary, one slipped in one man when all of us were asleep. They were going in the top bunk of my bed 😳
We saw them off 😎
But it wasn’t a very nice experience.
 
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Albertagirl

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Oh how awful. I am sorry you had to go through this.
Happened to me once, can’t remember where but not far from Santiago. First Camino. All women in the dormitary, one slipped in one man when all of us were asleep. They were going in the top bunk of my bed 😳
We saw them off 😎
But it wasn’t a very nice experience.
I hope that I have not given you the wrong impression. As far as I could see, this young man's only interest was getting his phone charged.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
No, you were very clear, @Albertagirl.
I'm glad I was not there, or I'd have been tempted to pull the plug, and throw the guy out - most undiplomatically.
Defenestrate!...I don't get to use this cool word often enough, VN.😅
 

4 Eyes

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
maybe maybe .... we are also the ones who whisper (to us it seems so but for the others we are talking aloud) until late, the ones who leave the lights on and early in the morning we rummage through our backpacks and make noise. (some could say that we are also the ones who use mint essential oil) 🤣😂😂

@trecile , I'm kidding too ;)

I never had to argue for a closed or open window. Of course, I also prefer a re-circulation of air in the room, regardless of the number of people occupying it. For me it is synonymous with healthiness.
In my family's houses it has always been like this, even in winter.
Now I say so, but when I was a child and I woke up, wrapped in that pleasant warmth under the covers,
when I got up I made an impressive speedy gonzales's sprint to reach the bathroom (hot).
My room looked like an igloo ..... blessed my grandmother!
But I'll be careful on my next steps and I'll try to figure out if there are any French people in my room:rolleyes:😁🙃

Are all Italians so funny?
 
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Casa Ivar Pin
Custom hard enamel pin badge with silver coloured locking pin. Size: 30 mm.
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
I'm half Italian, but I'd say not...my grandma was full blooded and she was rather curmudgeony...just sayin.🙄
Hi Chris,
My daughter lives in Tuscan...and she thinks all Italians are hilarious...
Yesterday she saw an elderly man riding a moped without a stitch of clothes on!!!
Shame she didn't take a photo!
 

Michael; Camino-addicted

Take your time to enjoy a beautiful moment
Year of past OR future Camino
A few Caminos
Next plan - Camino de Baztan
I love a wide open window at night and if there is any other living creature around, I have no problem with mosquitoes.

For me, Italians and Spaniards are particularly suspicious:eek:

But the problem can also occur in the opposite direction.

2014 we were at Fernandas Albergue on the Camino Portugues. A whole bunch of Europeans from the north (Danes, Dutch, Czechs, Germans) and a Brazilian. We had a very funny evening. Our Brazilian friend couldn´t speek English, so he was sitting with the family to talk in Portugues. The rest of the group was looking forward to a night without "our friends from around the Mediterranian" :pand decided to open the windows wide.
For us it was a fantastic night with fresh air, around 14 °C and good sleep and nobody thought of the fact that there are also more sensitive people.
In the morning we woke up and the Brazilian sat on his bed and wore all the clothes he had in his backpack. Two trousers on, a cap on his head, stockings over his hands etc.
He said: " I come from Recife, next to the equator and it never gets colder than 20 degrees. I closed the windows 10 times and then one of you went to the toilet and opened all the windows again. I have never been so cold in my life😡

We didn't think about his needs because we were so looking forward to the fresh night😓
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Hi Chris,
My daughter lives in Tuscan...and she thinks all Italians are hilarious...
Yesterday she saw an elderly man riding a moped without a stitch of clothes on!!!
Shame she didn't take a photo!
I think she did take a photo and already posted it on the covid humor thread today.🙄
 
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Mycroft

Active Member
Good post domigee. I have nothing else to do at the moment either (except research my potential Camino Norte trip for hopefully next year). On the Frances in 2015, I also found myself needing air several times during the first few nights on the Camino, and actually played the 'open and close' game a couple nights with some other pilgrims. I soon learned that the best action was to walk early, be one of the first to arrive at the albergue each afternoon, and stake out a bed nearest the window, so i could a) monitor whether it is open or closed, and b) occasionally stick my head outside for a few deep breaths when necessary.
I would like to be able to take a bunk of my choice, but I have been in albergues where I was assigned to a bed, without choice. 🤨
 

DonnaS18

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Sept (2018)
I recently read (but cannot find the thread any more) that some of you thought the French were notorious for insisting on closed windows at night.

I am French. And one of my biggest bugbears sleeping in albergues was not the snoring, the lights on at 5 am, the plastic bags.... It was this closing the windows!!!
I need, especially when I sleep with another 8 to 10 people at night, the window open! I have even been known to tie the window open to my bed with my washing line!!! Honestly, it was sooooo hot and it wasn’t healthy to keep it shut, as well as suffocating!

I never asked the nationality of the pilgrims who insisted on shutting it, one sure thing is that they weren’t French. On all my Caminos, I have only made friends with two French people, one was sleeping in a tent, the other one wanted the window open, like me. No question.

So as a matter of interest, and because I have nothing else to do at the moment 😅, what on earth made you think we French like the windows shut???😁
I think it has more to do with body temperature and how cold people are vs nationality.
If you don’t have enough blankets, body fat you want windows closed to be warm, if you don’t have enough oxygen you want windows open to have more air.
Don’t think it matters what flag you sleep under.
 

gerip

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
Similar attitudes can prevail in the UK, usually in previous generations : "don't sit in a draught/draft, you might catch a cold".

Is it a folk-memory of this ?

that held that diseases—such as cholera, chlamydia, or the Black Death—were caused by a miasma (μίασμα, Ancient Greek for "pollution"), a noxious form of "bad air", also known as night air."
I’ve been travelling through Europe for decades, usually staying in hostels or other group sleeping situation and have come to the conclusion that all Europeans are night air phobic. The French are more insistent, the Germans are more vociferous, but it’s pretty much a continental attitude. I’m always so happy with Aussies or Canadians in the room, as I know the window will remain open all night. Otherwise I make sure I’m by a window. Did stay at an albergue in Arzua last year that had no windows at all! Needless to say it was a sleepless night.
A whole lot of folks sleeping in one room generate a lot of heat and water vapour, and if windows are shut it can become stifling. It’s not like sleeping at home where a room can absorb the CO2 and vapour from one or two people.
 
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gerip

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
The albergue of the Benedictine nuns at Leon had three dormitories: women, men and couples. But when I last stayed there, one young man insisted on spending considerable time in the women's dormitory while we were trying to get undressed for bed. He had claimed a plug for his personal use in charging his phone, and refused to leave the room.
Not surprised. Some albergues are notorious for that kind of behaviour, the one in Villafranca come to mind. Any place where there’s a lot of men and very few women, beware.
 

gerip

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
This is probably one of the biggest reasons for the "window open/window closed" issue. I hadn't thought of that before.
Hmmmm. I’ve stayed in albergues with men (often cyclists) who wore no night clothes and brought no sleeping bag to lighten their load. Of course they wanted the windows closed.
 

DonnaS18

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Sept (2018)
And here was I thinking that it was the Korean ladies that kept shutting the windows :D I am a Kiwi and I definitely wanted them open until the mosquitoes started coming in and then I also closed them after the German lady opened them.
Hhhhmmmm mosquitoes - without screens. now that’s worthy of another window story thread 😀
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few times
And here was I thinking that it was the Korean ladies that kept shutting the windows :D I am a Kiwi and I definitely wanted them open until the mosquitoes started coming in and then I also closed them after the German lady opened them.
Mosquitoes on the Camino Frances? Where? On well over 100 nights on Caminos between June and November I have never encountered a mosquito. Not one and never one in an albergue. Only time I ever encountered biting insects is the occasional horsefly or biting gnat when walking past livestock, but that is to be expected.
 

Haste ye back

Alison
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte,primitivo,francés,portugués
I've had this window game many times and even gotten into a few arguments, I find Spaniards and Italians the worst window closing offenders. It's a difficult situation and even in April/May it can be very hot for someone from the northern hemisphere
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
I hope that I have not given you the wrong impression. As far as I could see, this young man's only interest was getting his phone charged.
Oh sorry I misunderstood. No, in my story it was altogether a different matter...
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
Great thread... "Windows"... my biggest gripe on the camino.... after 'extensive survey' I've come to the very generalised conclusion (unbiased of course) that the Brits are the worst window offenders, closely followed by Spanish. Perhaps we can have a vote?? I've played the window game in many an albergue, can't sleep without fresh air. Maybe cultural evolution!!!

At home (Australia/Thailand) we sleep with windows closed.
In fact they are rarely open. Mosquitoes! I am a magnet for them.
I can't imagine leaving the windows open at night (even with screens)

Surprised Robo, I thought all Aussies and Kiwis were 'window openers' (like me) but then I saw that you are from the UK originally !! Say no more!! ... and we would not survive in most parts of Oz without screens on windows. It's normal to have screens on doors and windows here. I think we must be the insect capital of the world....except perhaps for Thailand and Bali and.... ...

Maybe, just maybe, most of us walk in Spain during the milder and hotter months. The locals experience extremes of heat and cold. esp in Andalusia, and so have learnt to close their windows against the elements and to build houses with wonderful thick walls, courtyards etc to manage weather without the ubiquitous air conditioning we have elsewhere. They just forget to open them ... sometimes...or their lungs have evolved and don't need so much oxygen. :)

Right now I would love, love, love, to be back on camino, windows open or closed. I think . . .
 

marylynn

Ontario Canada
Year of past OR future Camino
2011-2019 CF, Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 HærvejenDK
BTW, I have walked five caminos and have never encountered even one mosquito in Spain or France during April and May.
I have never encountered a mosquito in Spain either, but I prefer them to the dastardly flies in the fall when I pass by newly-turned fields and they fly into my face or they mistake their reflection in my sunglasses for a potential mate and won’t take No!! for an answer.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I have never encountered a mosquito in Spain either, but I prefer them to the dastardly flies in the fall when I pass by newly-turned fields and they fly into my face or they mistake their reflection in my sunglasses for a potential mate and won’t take No!! for an answer.
I have never encountered those dastardly flies because I've always walked in spring so guess I'll stay with that routine...if I ever get released from jail.🙄
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
At home (Australia/Thailand) we sleep with windows closed.
In fact they are rarely open. Mosquitoes! I am a magnet for them.
I can't imagine leaving the windows open at night (even with screens)
I guess you have A/C? 🙂
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
What I didn’t explain is that I have only walked in Spain in Summer, July/August.
It was very hot at night.
And still people wanted the windows shut 😉
 
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gerip

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF, Lourdes to Burgos, Oct 2018
CF, Burgos to Santiago, May 2019
Ingles, Sep - Oct 2019
That happened to me once also, but I simply waited until the nun left the room, and then I moved to where I wanted to be.
Hmmmm. As someone who’s had double knee replacements, I always call ahead to reserve a bottom bunk. Often there’s a good reason for those assigned bunks.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Hmmmm. As someone who’s had double knee replacements, I always call ahead to reserve a bottom bunk. Often there’s a good reason for those assigned bunks.
And more often, it's just a matter of Pilgrim #1 is assigned bunk #1, Pilgrim #2 is assigned bunk #2, etc. That's how it's done in the big municipal albergues in Burgos, O Cebreiro, and other places too.
 

JPL

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Oct 2015; Camino dos Faros July 2019
I guess you had to be there. There were a few pilgrims that arrived at roughly the same time, and we were marched in together and the nun pointed to each person, then pointed to a bunk. It wasn’t scientific at all, it was early in the day and the room was almost empty. I think she was just following the process and was not open to Anyone questioning the assignments. But she pointed me to a top bunk, and being 60 at the time, I wasn’t keen to climb up there...
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Oh, I have had that challenge more than once!
I like the windows OPEN for fresh air.
One year on the VDLP, I had a "conversation" with a young man who swore we'd all die if we didn't close the windows. It was SUMMER and hot as heck!
I quickly learned to grab the bed nearest the window!
Yes, I'm a control freak!
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Nothing to do with drafts, I grew up in a place were robberies and kidnappings were common, and (sadly), the idea of sleeping with windows open scares the hell out of me. If there is the option of locking the shutters, I may leave the glass open. But even in high summer, closing the window is a must.

I have lived in Australia for years now, but that is a fear very hard to leave behind. In albergues, I will go with the majority - but I sleep much better if windows are shut. I totally appreciate the safety of a warm, cosy place :)
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
the idea of sleeping with windows open scares the hell out of me.
I can understand your fear. However, you are not at home. Thieves would have an easier time getting access to pilgrims' goods by posing as one and paying 5 to 15 euros to spend the night amongst the goodies.
 

dick bird

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I recently read (but cannot find the thread any more) that some of you thought the French were notorious for insisting on closed windows at night.

I am French. And one of my biggest bugbears sleeping in albergues was not the snoring, the lights on at 5 am, the plastic bags.... It was this closing the windows!!!
I need, especially when I sleep with another 8 to 10 people at night, the window open! I have even been known to tie the window open to my bed with my washing line!!! Honestly, it was sooooo hot and it wasn’t healthy to keep it shut, as well as suffocating!

I never asked the nationality of the pilgrims who insisted on shutting it, one sure thing is that they weren’t French. On all my Caminos, I have only made friends with two French people, one was sleeping in a tent, the other one wanted the window open, like me. No question.

So as a matter of interest, and because I have nothing else to do at the moment 😅, what on earth made you think we French like the windows shut???😁
Thank you for this. In 2019, we walked the Chemin D'Arles from Toulouse to Somport, and guess what? The French are friendly, helpful, polite, tolerant of bad French and quite happy to speak their pretty good English. And we definitely didn't have any problems with keeping the windows open. God help you if you try to order lunch after 1 pm though.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Thank you for this. In 2019, we walked the Chemin D'Arles from Toulouse to Somport, and guess what? The French are friendly, helpful, polite, tolerant of bad French and quite happy to speak their pretty good English. And we definitely didn't have any problems with keeping the windows open. God help you if you try to order lunch after 1 pm though.
Thank you for that nice comment!
Had to laugh about your last sentence though 😂 So true!
Shhhh... I want to walk through France again, ... just to lose weight! 😂😉
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Thank you for that nice comment!
Had to laugh about your last sentence though 😂 So true!
Shhhh... I want to walk through France again, ... just to lose weight! 😂😉
Yep, lunch was hard to come by on the Le Puy...but the gite dinners were "to die for". I don't think I lost any weight that particular year.🤔
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Yep, lunch was hard to come by on the Le Puy...but the gite dinners were "to die for". I don't think I lost any weight that particular year.🤔
I didn’t walk the Le Puy, I walked through Northern France from Calais to Besançon. Most days we went without breakfast or lunch, evening meal was often ‘Meh’ 🙄 I could not believe it 😳 I once chased a small van which was delivering loaves to houses, the driver was terrified 🤣 I also eyed every rabbit that crossed my path early morning, thinking ‘how can I catch it???’
My walking mate still swears he will NEVER walk in France again, I think I need to, just to lose the extra weight I gained during lockdown 😉😁
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I like open windows at night, and will do a lot to avoid a closed-up densely packed dormitory. Sometimes easier said than done. I have slept in the kitchen or common area a couple of times when it got too much for me. Or left very early. And once got into the open window, close window, open window (with no-one saying anything) argument! Not good karma. I've found now that if I ask first "please, is it OK if I open the window, there are extra blankets in the cupboard if anyone is cold", the response is usually positive.
 
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