Sunday, February 20, 2011

Celebrating the Via Turonensis

Our fellow pilgrim Roger Renouf from Bordeaux took part in Europa Compostela 2010 (EC 2010) last year. Roger is an active member of the Association des Amis de Saint-Jacques de Compostelle en Aquitaine, one of the many pilgrim associations in France.

In August last year Roger carried the Norwegian EC 2010 relay bourdon (note the Norwegian flag attached to the bourdon on the photo) from Bourdeaux through Aquitaine to the Basque Country. Roger had joined the French EC 2010 team on the Via Turonensis, an ancient pilgrim road from Paris to Santiago de Compostela.

The last leg of the journey
After having walked for 15 days, Roger handed the bourdon over to another team of pilgrims who took the bourdon onwards over the Pyrenees and continued along the Camino del Norte (also known as the Coastal Route or the Northern Route). Roger had, however, demanded that he should carry the Norwegian bourdon on the last leg of the journey. And so it came to be that he carried the (2nd) Norwegian bourdon from Monte do Gozo to the cathedral of Saint James. He arrived in Santiago 18 September and joined in the festivities to celebrate the success of this great European event (read and find out more...).

Captivated by Norway
- I was bound to be captivated by Norway, says Roger who admits that he has an infatuation for fjords, snowcapped mountains and pristine nature. After having walked with the Norwegian bourdon, he decided to live his dream and ordered a cruise on the 'Hurtigruten' (the Coastal Express) for him and his wife Jacqueline. In February (2011) the couple embarked on the spectacular Norwegian boat cruise from Bergen to Kirkenes.

Trondheim - a city to remember
Roger knew that the city of Trondheim was one of the ports of call. He also knew that he had pilgrim connections here; he had met Helga and Geirmund Lykke from Trondheim when they arrived in Santiago with the other Norwegian bourdon 18 September last year. Now was the time for a reunion, this time in Norway. So when Roger and Jacqueline arrived in Trondheim 20 February, they were met by Helga, Geirmund and yours truly. We had the privilege of taking our French friends on a guided tour of our fair city. Again we were reminded how meetings between pilgrims inspire friendship across borders.

View photos (browse to reminisce ;-)