Monday, 19 May 2014

Friday Evening Walk

Although I went for a walk every evening after class, I did not take any pictures on the Wednesday and Thursday. During the days, it was often raining and quite chilly, but thankfully, by the time class was over, the rain had stopped and I could go out.
On either Wednesday or Thursday I took a shortcut across a field to the supermarket to stock up on snacks, and frightened a hare that had been quietly sitting there. I had not seen the hare until it dashed across the grass from me, and of course it was way too fast for me to have a chance at a picture.

As mentioned in this post, Friday was the hardest day of the week, but also turned out to be the day with the most interesting walk of the week.

I started out in the opposite direction than usual and quickly arrived at a part of the woods where I had not been going any further until now than just the first line of trees. This time, I went straight ahead on the path.

After a short stretch, the path came out on the other side of the woods, leading to a sunny field framed by more woods. Not a single person was in sight.




 I had to step carefully to avoid treading on someone's house!



Past the rapeseed field in full bloom, the path led further on, back into the woods. I never knew what I was going to find behind the next bend, and all I could hear was birdsong and the faint noise of cars on the road that I had crossed at the start of my walk.






Someone had obviously been here before me!

From a distance, I could hear church bells and the bleating of sheep. I followed the sound and came across this sign on a tree. Do you know what it stands for?
It indicates that this path is part of El Camino de Santiago, or St. James's Way, Jakobsweg in German. In case you are not familiar with any of these terms, simply read what it's all about on wikipedia. I am not Catholic, or belong to any organized religion, but I liked the idea of walking, at least for a little bit, along a path that means so much to many people, and has been travelled on for centuries.
 

From the end of the woods, I could see the village where the sound of church bells had come from. I had already been walking for quite a while, and needed to go back to the  hotel the same way, preferably before darkness (no street lights in the woods!), so I decided not to walk over to the village. But I definitely want to go there next time I'll be here, which is scheduled for the end of June.
 
Zooming in (or trying to!) on the sheep. There were many lambs.

Returning, I took one last picture of the rapeseed field, and went straight back to the hotel. I was quite ready for something to eat now, and my head felt much better than when I had come out of class.

24 comments:

  1. You know, these pictures look a lot like Sicily...we also have lots of lambs, goats and...snails. The other day after it rained we saw many snails come out and my daughter was so worried about stepping on them. Beautiful pictures, such a nice countryside.

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    1. Since I have ever only seen Sicily in the summer and autumn, I never think of it as a particularly green place - to me, Sicily is mainly brown and yellow. I like the idea of a green Sicily, actually!

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  2. Being part of an organized religion, but not Roman Catholic, i would also be interested in traveling a path sojourned by so many before me. It's nice that you have a new area to explore waiting in June.

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    1. Yes, I am looking forward to that!

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  3. The trees do look wonderful at this time of the year.

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    1. They do, don't they. The leaves on them still look so new and fresh.

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  4. Your walks always impress me and this one is no exception. The one thing that stands out for me in all of them is the natural beauty of the clean and well-kept paths you take. Nothing like it them in the US that I've ever seen and I can't imagine walking off into the woods alone and unarmed!

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    1. The further away from people, the cleaner it gets (logically). I never understand how people can just drop whatever they have been drinking or eating and leave the cans or wrappers around. They were very well able to carry it while it was full and heavy, so they should be able to carry it empty until the next bin even better.

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  5. I would love to travel along part of El Camino de Santiago. I have read a couple of books about pilgrims who went along it. I thoroughly enjoy pilgrim trails in England and Wales and thinking back to what it must have been like for those early travellers.

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    1. This was my very first time of (consciously) coming across any pilgrim trail myself. The Jakobsweg is quite popular with celebrities here in Germany, which has put me off it a bit - there were a couple of years when you simply HAD to walk part of it in order to be in favour with the general public. Some of my friends and acquaintances have been walking parts of it, too, and I know they have not done it for any glamour of sorts.

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  6. I recognised that shell. I bought a similar souvenir one when I visited Santiago di Compostela. I was most interested in your style of walking - just going out and following your nose - kind of "free walking" - whereas I nearly always walk with the aid of a map. Perhaps your dreams will come true when you reach that village at the end of June.

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    1. The only times I want a map is when I walk in an unknown area and have a goal; for instance, the very first time I walked from Littlethorpe to Fountains Abbey I needed to look at the map every now and then. Otherwise, if I do not "have to" get from A to B, but just want to go on a walk from A and back to A, I really just follow my nose.

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  7. Thank you for sharing that pretty walk. I enjoyed it and especially loved seeing the lambs and the rapeseed field, just beautiful!

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    1. Thank you, Dorothy! I wish I could have taken a better picture of the sheep. They were quite far away, and I used maximum zoom on my cheap little camera.

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  8. Yes, you are right. Sicily is thought of as being brown but there are many green places. One have a "forest" nearby, called Bosco Storace and it's a green oasis, in the summer people go there for walks or picnics. But in general Sicily is a very dry Island, certainly not like Ireland. The mountais are also rocky, not much green left, especially since they have a lot of Marble. Custonaci used to be a rich city because of it's Marble caves, but not much left now.

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    1. I do remember the many fruit plantations around Catania, it looked always green there even in the middle of summer. And some friends of ours in my husband's home village (near Caltagirone) had a beautiful garden with large leafy trees that offered welcome shade on hot afternoons.

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  9. Oh for June and to see the village! Maybe a little gift for yourself in the form of a pastry and coffee or tea?
    We have lots of stars in a town south of here, Montecito, near Santa Barbara. But I just put my sunglasses on and walk away in the warm sun and sea breeze!

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    1. I'll see whether there will be any café or bakery still open by the time I arrive at the village in June, but I am definitely going to have a good look around! Also, I'll find out the name of the place - so far, I have not looked it up on a map.

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  10. El Camino de Santiago...I had never heard of it until last year, and I have a very good friend Mary whose brother, Mike walked for... oh dear, I can't remember how far he told me to walked, but he was there for several weeks. It was a life changing event for him. I do remember he told me that.
    I thank you very much for showing me a part of it and I am like you, I love the idea of how many others have walked that same path!

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    1. Yes, I've heard similar comments from others, how walking St. James's Way has affected their lives positively. Mostly, people who are already willing to change something fundamentally about their lives set out on a pilgrimage, don't they?

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  11. I love reading about and seeing the places to you walk to and from.
    I enjoyed a lovely 2 hour walk last weekend with my daughter. I wish I'd thought to take pictures, I'd left my 'phone at home. :D
    It's quite fascinating to wonder who trod the path before us isn't it? I love to stand in a place and wonder who or what was there before.

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    1. Thank you, Karen!
      Yes, I love to learn something about the history of a place, and am most interested in the local history of my hometown. I have read a few books written by people who used to live here, about their daily lives in "my" town in times gone by. Always fascinating.

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  12. As always a most enjoyable time travelling with you. I know quite a lot of people who have walked parts of El Camino but never as far away from the destination as Germany. I found that fascinating.

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    1. Same here, Graham, I find the idea of such a walk leading through different countries and covering many different landscapes fascinating.

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