A woman gets organised for a pilgrimage
Hape Kerkeling* isn’t the only one who can do it. Walking the Camino de Santiago (the Pilgrimage of St James) has been a dream of mine for a very long time. Alone, on foot, with only the essentials in my backpack. But do I trust myself enough to do it? Will it be physically possible? I’m not really the most athletic person I know so how long can I walk at one stretch? These were the questions and doubts that for years kept me from fulfilling this dream. But five years ago, the big decision was made and to gradually prepare myself, I began by going on a partial pilgrimage every year, starting out with two days in the Allgäu, working up to a week each on paths in Lower Bavaria, Austria and Upper Bavaria. This year the time had finally come for me to embark on a 14-day trip to Santiago de Compostela.
Why do people go on pilgrimages at all?
As far back as the Middle Ages people embarked on the St. James pilgrimage, their goal being to secure a place in Paradise. Today, however, the pilgrims’ motivations are not necessarily religious. Some see it as a sporting challenge; others want to meet up with as many people from all over the world as possible. Still others are trying to process some kind of trauma, are recovering from burnout or merely want to prove something. The reasons are as varied as the people who undertake the journey. For me, a pilgrimage is a personal time out. It is a chance to wind down, to immerse myself in nature while walking, to be aware of all the wonderful plants and animals, even the very smallest, to be mindful of them, to look around me every day in wonder and marvel at how beautifully the world is created. In Germany, pilgrims are considered to be somewhat exotic. In Spain on the other hand, these travellers are part of everyday life and are greeted everywhere by strangers locals calling out “Buen Camino”.
Pilgrimages are addictive. As soon as I come back from one journey, I start thinking about where I want to go next year. Not surprisingly then that my planning already started in Autumn last year. However, this time it was different. While on the Munich Way of St James in 2017, I met a like-minded pilgrim.… weiterlesen
CultureAndCream author from Munich
As a nutritionist and passionate cook, I am interested in everything that has to do with good food. For me, enjoyment is a priority. As I see it, only when something tastes good can it be good for the body and, after all, the health aspect can’t be neglected. When I am on the road, I love to try local specialities, provided they are vegetarian. More recently I have embarked on an intensive study of wild plants, their traditional healing effects as well as their culinary potential. An exciting field! My other passion is opera, music which simply opens my heart and I attend performances just as often as I possibly can.