Monday, June 25, 2012
June 18 30th Anniversary and St. James Pilgrimage
Ugh. Had to get up at 5:00, breakfast at 5:30. bus at 6:00. We got to Swartzenberg, got some lunch supplies and started our journey. The weather was perfect, not too hot and not raining. The way of St. James has existed for over a thousand years. It was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times. Legend holds that St. James' remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain where he was buried on the site of what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. Several legs of this journey pass through Switzerland. We all carried scallop shells as the pilgrims did in ancient times. There are small signs (with the shell) and little chapels along the way. We went for about 45 minutes and took a detour to visit the Grasburg Castle Ruins which are through a forest and up a steep hill. Think holding onto branches and swinging over streams at a 45 degree angle. I tried really hard not to embarrass myself. My Keens came through even though I stepped in the stream. I knew this day would be hard for me, as anyone that knows me I have suffered so much foot pain I didn't know if I could do this. We had 21 km (or 13 miles) to cover. NOT including the the castle ruins, that was about 1 hour off the path. So after a while we really hadn't gone that far!! Of course we got a little separated by different speeds. The funny thing though is when people wait for you they wait until you catch up to them and then they start going not remembering that you didn't get a break! We were right at the back of the group. As we looked ahead we saw four or five people going so as we walked we talked and followed them. BAD! We made a wrong turn. We figured it out after 25 minutes SO we had to backtrack another 25 minutes!!! By this time we had been going for 7 hours. They were super surprised that we caught up to them. Yes, you guessed it, when we got to them, they stood up and started walking again (remember they have been resting for 1 hour we didn't even sit down) Are you kidding? We finally got to the city of Friberg and then the leader says this is where we take our shoes and socks off to walk through the old city on the cobblestones to the cathedral as penance. HAHAHA. I didnt take my shoes off mostly because I knew my feet would grow too big and I wouldn't get them back on, but the second reason was mostly due to broken glass and urine in the streets. The cobblestone path was long and the last bit was straight up hill VERY STEEP for about 5 blocks. I was sure my feet were bleeding but I wasn't going to check. Konrad was looking faint. We made it to the cathedral and we sat down. The worst part was to come. Get up and walk uphill for 15 minutes to the train station. I tried to hide on the train with Konrad but my team that I was team leader for a design project came and found me. Rats. So I had a meeting on the train home. I had been sweating for 9 hours by this time. Crazy, but very proud of myself and Konrad for finishing and EVEN doing MORE then most of the students. Happy Anniversary. I'm thinking something different next year.
Posted by Diane at 10:09 AM