The Camino de Santiago is one of the most popular Christian pilgrimage routes in the world. Extending almost 800 km across the north of Spain, it attracts those who seek not just religious knowledge, but physical challenge, spiritual enlightenment and cultural experience.
There are actually many Caminos extending far and wide through Europe, converging on the town of Santiago, in the northwest corner of Spain. The most famous of these paths is El Camino de Santiago de Compostela, or El Camino Frances. Camino in Spanish simply means “road” or “way”.
Famous pilgrims such as Queen Isabella of Spain, Charlemagne, St. Francis of Assisi, Paolo Coelho, Anthony Quinn and Shirley MacLaine, have made this journey. But, there is something so compelling about the idea of following in the footsteps of the thousands of nameless souls through the centuries who suffered along the way without modern conveniences like hiking boots, sleeping bags, or water bottles. It is now no longer necessary to be a Christian to walk this path. People of all ages, beliefs and nationalities converge there. Read more...
Several years ago I was spending some time at home after an intense peace walk in Greece, sitting on the deck, thumbing idly through a book. I came across a true story about a young girl named Sadako Sasaki, who died tragically from effects of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. If you have ever seen an origami crane, it was very likely folded by someone in memory of this courageous girl. You can read her story here.
That day I dreamed of walking in Hiroshima and placing my peace bird on Sadako’s memorial statue. I realized that because it was a dream, and not a goal, it wouldn’t matter when or how I got there, or even if I did. Over the years I had folks continue to encourage me to fulfill my dream; I even had invitations to stay with friends there. But I walked many miles in many countries before reaching Japan, eighteen years later. Every step was important. Read more...