weekly photo challenge: endurance

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Endurance is the weekly photo challenge prompt. How utterly fitting for us at the moment as we are on the Camino! We have about 520km or so til our destination!!

We need to keep at it despite the weather conditions; walking in wind, sun and rain.

Endurance will get us there :)

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Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

taking it slow on the camino

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We are on Day 13 of our Camino and we have covered about 230 km or so. But we going slow in comparison to everyone else. We have had two rest days which were a blessing for our feet and muscles :)

On the trail, we often are getting blitzed by others. So when we saw this little fellow; he reminded us of how we are trying to do this Camino.

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“Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.” – Eddie Cantor

We are probably the slowest 30-somethings on the walk but it doesn’t matter. We are enjoying it!

For our day-to-day video updates, check out our Facebook Page. We will get a photo essay up soon of the Camino to-date to share :)

And today we were mentioned for our fundraising efforts for Angelman Syndrome. To read it, click here

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Have you done the Camino? Please share your experience! We welcome any tips as well.

our second month in review

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It is just over 2 months since we flew out of Sydney for Europe. It only felt like a few days ago that we wrote our first month in review but here we are sharing our second month already. We are over halfway into this trip now and will be home before we know it.

After our last month’s post, we moved onto Carcassonne and Lyon before saying good-bye to France and hello to Switzerland.

Carcassonne has to be added as another one of our memorable experiences in France. Maybe it was climbing the 242 steps for a rooftop view of the citadel on an extremely warm day that made it memorable. Lyon was a little bit of a surprise package in itself with plenty to keep us busy (more posts to come about that).

IMG_3026We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Switzerland and were very thrilled to be able to visit most of their UNESCO Heritage Sites. The scenery is just breathtaking and every day we seemed to be blown away by something different. There were many highlights in Switzerland (posts still to come) but the one that jumps straight to mind is the Bernina Express from St Moritz to Tirano. We had amazing weather so were graced with the most gorgeous views!

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And on the flip side, our biggest disappointment was without a doubt, another unsuccessful trip to Jungfraujoch – at least we got onto the train this time :)

Then it was a quick stop into Luxembourg which is very quaint country. We didn’t see much except the old town but it looks like there are plenty of interesting hikes and things to explore outside the city.

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From there it was back to France for a bit of Paris again, where we got to visit the Louvre and Notre-Dame this time. Back in 2006, we didn’t visit either. Despite the queues, we enjoyed wondering through the Louvre and getting lost – that place is a maze!

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After the very brief stop in Paris, we went south to Bayonne before winding up in St Jean Pied de Port. There we started our epic 800 km walk of the Camino.

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Day 1 – 3 was so unbelievably exhausting. That first day, climbing for almost 27 km to 1400+ metres asl over the Pyrenees into Spain, our bodies had never hurt in that way before! At dinner, we couldn’t even move our arms to feed ourselves. That was an adventure in itself! Our bodies felt so battered and bruised but we soldiered on.

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We had a break day in Pamplona and although we didn’t get to run with any bulls, we did get to experience another fiesta (The Privilege of the Union) they had.

IMG_4969The atmosphere of rural Spain is contagious. We love how there are siestas in the afternoon and then the evenings is in a league of their own! The streets are deserted during the day and as soon as 6pm hits, hundreds of people pour onto the street. Where have they been hiding all day?

We are finally getting into the swing and rhythm of walking everyday. We have walked about 160 km so far and we have enjoyed every minute. Despite the aches and pains and searing heat, it has been rewarding and uplifting to meet other pilgrims. The feeling of seeing our “rest” town in the distance at the end of every day is like seeing a source of water in the dessert! So near, yet so far! So excited, yet such a tease! Imagine walking up a hill, mountain, slope, incline only to peak over the crest to see the town… HOORAY! Except, you still need to walk there. How many times have we wished for a zip-line at that point?

Oh but the satisfaction of accomplishing outweighs the day’s walk 1000 times over. The scenery and sunrise helps as well! Remember, if you want to read our Camino day by day reflections, just duck on over to our Camino Diaries or onto our Facebook page.

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Have a great week ahead, folks!

We welcome your comments here

weekly photo challenge: humanity

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“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The weekly photo challenge asked for us to share our interpretation of humanity. And these wise words from Mahatma Gandhi came to mind.

We took this photo only recently when we were in Geneva, Switzerland.

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 Have a wonderful weekend! 

We welcome your comments!

the legend of the rose of turaida

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When we travel, we are always fascinated by the different tales, folklores and legends from different countries and places we visit.

Have you heard about the legend of the Rose of Turaida?

If you ever visit Turaida Castle in Latvia, you will be sure to pass by and see the grave of Maija – the Rose of Turaida.

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The legend goes a little like this:

In early 17th Century (1601), the Swedish troops captured Turaida Castle. There was a young orphan girl discovered by the clerk of the castle, who adopted her as his own daughter and named her Maija.

Maija grew up to be beautiful young woman and the people named her the Rose of Turaida. She was engaged to a gardener by the name of Victor, who lived at Sigulda Castle. In the evenings, they would secretly meet each other at Gutmanis Cave.

A man named Adam who worked at Turaida Castle was interested in Maija and proposed to her. She rejected his proposal and Adam decided to win her over by deceit. He wrote a note to Maija inviting her to meet at Gutmanis Cave, as if the note were from Victor.

Maija turned up to the cave wearing a red silk scarf and realised she had been tricked, and chose to die rather than be unfaithful to her fiancé, Victor. She told Adam that the scarf would protect her neck from any sword and that he should attempt to cut her neck. Adam tried and Maija’s lifeless body fell down at his feet.

It was Victor that discovered his love murdered. In despair, he raced off to find help but in the meantime had dropped his axe. Suspicion arose and he was arrested and tried for her murder. It was only after a comrade-in-arms to Adam testified of the truth, which resulted in Victor being freed. Maija is now buried at the edge of Turaida graveyard, where Victor planted a linden tree on her grave.

What a tragic love story!

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Where have you been that has a similar historical tale behind it?

Share with us your thoughts.

And remember, if you want to how we are getting on during our Camino, we are posting daily videos on our Facebook Page.

weekly photo challenge: adventure!

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The Weekly Photo Challenge asked to show “adventure!” We are on a LONG adventure at the moment, embarking on the Way of St James, walking 800 km to Santiago de Compostela. IMG_4837 For anyone interested, you can read our daily reflections. Or you can watch our daily debrief on our Facebook Page.

And although it is our adventure, we are also doing it to raise awareness about Angelman Syndrome.

Have a great week ahead, everyone!!

 

day 0 of the camino

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Don’t worry, we don’t plan to bombard your inbox/reader newsfeed every day with a day-by-day summary of our Camino.

Depending on how it goes and subject to wifi capabilities, we will share occasionally on this blog where we are at, with some photos! However, the plan is to share a Camino Diary elsewhere for those who may be interested. So we will attempt to post a short video at the end of each day on our FB page and share a more daily personal (and possible raw) reflection from both of us on our other blog.

In addition, a note to all the blogs we follow and regularly read/like/comment, if we are quiet, please don’t think you have lost us. We will not likely have the time to do our reading after a long day’s walk but we will see how we go :)

Anyway, we are here in St Jean Pied de Port and will be walking the 25 km on Day 1. It has been a really lovely day and although it hasn’t officially started for us, we have already met a few people from around the world! There is such a wonderful sense of community!

Time for bed and let’s see what tomorrow holds! Next time you hear from us, we will be in Spain :)