May 3, 2011 at 12:03 pm #1273250
@dtpaladinoLocale: Northern Rockies
Companion forum thread to:May 3, 2011 at 2:54 pm #1732547
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Wonderful stuff. Thanks.
CheersMay 3, 2011 at 9:31 pm #1732707
@tjaardLocale: Minnesota, USA
A very fun and insightful read!May 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm #1732710
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
What an adventure—a great read and sparkling photography. Well done!
RickMay 3, 2011 at 10:05 pm #1732712
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
From "Alles in Ordnung" all the way to " Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita"…..Great write up, beautiful pictures….thanks so much!May 3, 2011 at 10:32 pm #1732717
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
The pilgrim aspect identifies something that has eluded me in describing travel. We are all pilgrims, in search of our own grail, in the wilderness or populated spaces.
Of course, the ultralight aspect is of interest. It fits with a pilgrimage too, leaving the material world behind and only taking the most elemental supplies to complete the journey.
Rome is such a fitting end to a journey. What a mind-blowing city!May 4, 2011 at 2:34 am #1732732
Thanks a lot for your trip report. I'm from Europe, currently living in Switzerland, and I totally agree that the notion of wilderness and long-distance backpacking is very different here than in the States.
In Europe, accommodation is available almost everywhere within day's walking distance, including remote mountain areas and farmlands. It would be in fact possible to travel just with a rainjacket and credit card in your pocket. You can also use the dense network of public transit to skip over uninteresting parts like big city suburbs.
On the other hand, it is very difficult to plan a trip if you want to sleep in a tent or under a tarp. In most European countries (with the exception of Scandinavia and few others) it is generally forbidden to camp outside of designated areas (campings), which are usually crammed with RVs and motor homes.
Bivouacs are sometimes tolerated in the high mountains, and you can certainly spend a night in tent pitched on a forest clearing in less populated areas if you keep low profile, but you'd be still in a shady legal area at best.May 4, 2011 at 5:31 am #1732748
@harry-nLocale: Western US
Thanks for the hike and history. Kinda bad there's less wild camping in that portion of Europe. Wish there were something analogous to the AT through Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and maybe the "Benelux" countries, terminating in Amsterdam.May 4, 2011 at 10:58 am #1732877
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
Although I'd prefer a more camping-based hike the landscape through which you walked sounds spectacular. Thank you for sharing.May 5, 2011 at 12:45 am #1733204
Thanks for the inspiring article!
I'm from Belgium and agree that In Europe civilization is (most of the time) only a day's march away.
But if you want to wild camp that's also perfectly possible. All you need to do is a little planning to avoid densely populated areas. This can be done very easily in for example Scotland, Scandinavia, some parts of Germany, etc. In France there's even something called 'the diagonal of emptiness', it's a geographical line from the north-east to the south-west of France. This line covers an area with a very low population density. Bivouacing (camping for one night) is also permitted in France if you respect certain rules.
Of course a pilgrimage, like the one from the article, is a different way of travelling with other benefits and interest points than hiking desolate areas.May 5, 2011 at 5:37 pm #1733515
Nice story and beautiful pictures. Made me recall Thoreau's Walking…
I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who
understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks–who had a
genius, so to speak, for SAUNTERING, which word is beautifully derived
"from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and
asked charity, under pretense of going a la Sainte Terre," to the Holy
Land, till the children exclaimed, "There goes a Sainte-Terrer," a
Saunterer, a Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their
walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds; but they
who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some,
however, would derive the word from sans terre without land or a home,
which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular
home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of
successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be
the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is
no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while
sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea. But I prefer the
first, which, indeed, is the most probable derivation. For every walk is
a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us, to go forth
and reconquer this Holy Land from the hands of the Infidels.May 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm #1735873
Nice story. Heard you on Rick Steves I think.Jul 8, 2011 at 9:03 pm #1757384
@adie-mitchellLocale: Northwest Mass
Great Story. My friend and I this spring did a bike tour with a bit of hiking from Northern France to Santiago and beyond. Traveling the pilgrimage is simple, easy and beautiful – and we were stealthcamping as often as possible and never eating in restaurants. We did imagine though, that if we were walking and had a much larger budget, we could live with only a smart phone, debit card, poncho, toothbrush and earplugs.
Reading this makes me want to take a plane to somewhere in Europe and just see where the wind takes me…Jul 8, 2011 at 11:20 pm #1757407
What a fantastic account of a European walk! Its a great change of pace to the typical forests and mountains.
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