Monday, December 7, 2009

Preparation for Europe III Continues


My flight to Hässelholm, Sweden and a third American football season in Europe is now a little less than three months away, so I've started to pick up my preparation pace for the new cultural experiences that await me and Laurie.

First up is a good dose of research!

MUST Reading

If you are going to spend any appreciable amout of time visiting or living in another country, like our upcoming seven month stay in Sweden, you really need to get to know something about the people, their culture and traditions so as not to come off as an "Ugly American".

We will be guests in this fascinating land and do not want to unwaringly upset our hosts, so research like this just has to be done.

"Culture Shock" has published a series of books that covers over 60 different nations in an effort to make a traveler's stay much more enjoyable in a host country. I HIGHLY recommend buying and reading the appropriate book from their library before your next trip.

Swedish Yuletime Flavors

Laurie stumbled upon this $2 bottle of Julmust at the World Market store.

Julmust, jul means Christmas in Swedish, is produced at Christmas time in Sweden by a company named Guttsta Källa. She just had to buy a bottle for us to try out. Julmust is a traditional Swedish stout-like, sweet seasonal carbonated soft drink.

An interesting taste, it might be a little better with a splash of Akvavit.

Christie and Jason Johnson walked much of the Camino in northern Spain last Summer starting in Pamplona, Spain and I want to attempt it after our season is over in Hässelholm.

I just finished reading this book, "I'm Off Then", that Jason lent me about one man's travels on the Camino and I'm getting more excited about giving it a go after reading this in depth pilgrim's account.

If I do it, I am going to attempt to walk the entire 484 mile Camino pilgrimage trail from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain!

I figure that if I can cover an average of about 16 miles each day in about 5 to 6 hours of hiking, I could finish in approximately 30 days.

Difficult? NO QUESTION!!! Pilgrimages are supposed to be a soul searching quests for inner peace and self-discovery aren't they?

It will be interesting if nothing else and it will force me to do a lot of exercise in Sweden to prepare.

Don't laugh, IT'S NOT EEEMPOSSIBLE!!!

5 comments:

Sil said...

2010 is a Holy Year (the last one until 2021) so the Camino Frances is going to be really overcrowded. Perhaps wait until 2011? Don't rush it. 30 days is quite tough when you cross three mountain ranges walking on rocky, muddy, gravel trails.
To read about the history, the different routes, to buy guides and books on line.
www.csj.org.uk

To plan your trip, with a print out of daily mileage, sunrise and sunset, the profile and topography of the route:
http://www.godesalco.com/plan

To work out your budget:
http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/web/es/calculadora/

A Spanish site with lots of info in Spanish and English
www.mundicamino.com

French chemins: http://www.chemindecompostelle.com/

To read pilgrims’ diaries:
www.caminolinks.org.uk

Forums and Groups: Pilgrim Chat sites:
http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/Santiagobis (About 1 300 members)
http://www.groups.yahoo.com/groups/Saintjames (about 170 members)
http://www.pilgrimage-to-santiago.com/ (Click on ‘FORUM’ – over 1 000 members)
gocamino-subscribe@oakapple.com

Camino Associations (English sites):

American Pilgrims on the Camino: http://www.americanpilgrims.com/
Canada: The Canadian Company of Pilgrims: http://www.santiago.ca/
England: Confraternity of St James: www.csj.org.uk
Ireland: The Irish Society of the Friends of St James: http://www.stjamesirl.com/
South Africa: CSJ of SA: http://www.csjofsa.za.org

Buen Camino!

George said...

Sil,

Thanks for the input on the Camino. I just wish you could have given me more details. . .
JUST KIDDING!!!

WOW, these sources are just terrific!!!

I know about the Holy Year, I just hope that since I'm starting it in mid-September or early October that most of the Summeer crowd is gone.

Again, THANKS for all the info!
George

LIFE AS A POSITOLOGIST said...

George,

1) begin walking
2) FOLLOW YELLOW ARROWS
3) arrive in santiago

(The Medieval Method)

Don't forget to eat and sleep,

Jason

ps Great sites!

George said...

Jason,

Ah, SIMPLICITY that only an old timer could bring to the Camino!

Buen Camino,
George

DPLassen said...

By no means Camino related, but for a (humorous) look at another long trek, I recommend Bill Bryson's "A Walk In The Woods."