Hola from Seville

I love the light and beautiful balconies

We arrived in Seville late last week, and we have enjoyed walking all the pedestrian streets. I love all the beautiful plazas, amazing architecture, and I especially love the light. Early morning light and the evening light along the streets! 

I have been participating with 52frames, a weekly photo challenge, 

week 4 –

Macro, admittedly I wasn’t overly inspired by the challenge, I was lucky to find the daffodils were blooming in my cousins garden. Thanks, Sharon and Bob for a lovely four days! 

Week 5 –

dirty, okay I am struggling with the challenge, and I am going to have to think about how I approach the challenges each week if I am going to keep them up. While I have been struggling, I have been inspired by the images submitted by many of the photographers, and this does help to motivate me. 

Week 6 – my desk, there are a few coffee shops, we have been enjoying the “coffee con leche” coffee with warm milk, as well as the wonderful pastries while I sit process image, so I pretty sure I will have a better submission this week. 

If you have any suggestions for off the beaten path things to do in or around Seville drop me a line, or if you want more info on the 52framers weekly photo challenge, let me know, I would be happy to send you a link. 

While we have been away I have launched a new website for images taken during our Camino to Santiago de Compostela, I would appreciate if you have a look. I would love to know if you have a favorite image, or if you have done the Camino, your favorite memory or location. 

To see our ongoing travel photos check out my Instagram feed. 

See you again soon. 

Planning and Preparing for the Camino to Santiago de Compostela

Camino Frances, yellow arrows, scallop shells, way-markers, direction signs
some of the signs we saw along the Camino to Santiago de Compostela; https://jmeyersforeman.photoshelter.com/index/G0000X9dzoUqwosQ/I0000BeE4ezGtEDU

Bill and I have walked two from St. Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela along the Camino Frances twice. The first trip was the hardest for many reasons, one of the first difficulty came because we didn’t really know what we were doing, what to expect, or where to find information. It was still a vague concept for us.

We had found quite a few websites with information, we read a number of books all with stories of the walk, maps, and photos. We contacted the Canadian Company of Pilgrims and attended a could of the Chapter meetings in Calgary. It was very helpful to attend the meeting, where we meet people who had completed the Camino Frances, as well as people who volunteered at albergues and hostels along the way.

Some sites we found helpful when planning our trip:

Camino de Santiago

https://www.gronze.com/camino-frances

https://vivecamino.com/en/the-french-way/

http://santiago-compostela.net/camino-frances/

Camino de Santiago Routes

http://caminodesantiagoguide.org/pathsandmaps

Before our first Camino, we were both working full time it was difficult to find the time we needed to train to the level of fitness recommended for an easier journey to Santiago de Compostela. We met people of every age walking along the Camino route, being in the tip-top fitness condition of a 20-year-old is unnecessary, being fit for your age should be a priority. One of the better websites we found for training advice and information on Follow the Camino 

During the planning of our first Camino, we spent a lot of time wondering if we could travel the entire 800km across northern Spain following the yellow arrows and scallop shells.  Just after leaving St. Jean Pied de Port we found our first yellow arrow painted on a tree, and wondered, would it really be that easy?!

Camino Frances, way-marker, Camino to Santiago de Compostela
on our way from St Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles, the first yellow arrow! https://jmeyersforeman.photoshelter.com/index/G0000X9dzoUqwosQ/I0000kXlnSr8lCAY

It is amazing the variety of signs, each being as individual as the person who placed it there for others to follow.

Camino Frances, yellow arrows, scallop shells, way-markers, direction signs
some of the signs we saw along the Camino to Santiago de Compostela https://jmeyersforeman.photoshelter.com/index/G0000X9dzoUqwosQ/I0000ok2lKaDJCzA

​Melida to Aruza; Camino to Santiago De Compostela 

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Moon over Melide;

​We left Melida just before 7 am to walk the 14k to Aruza; despite the short distance we headed out early as the days are getting hot, temperatures of 31C were expected.

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Beautiful morning walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela, lovely treelined walking paths in Galicia.

We walked down beautiful country lanes.

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crossing the small creek on a stone bridge

Crossed small creeks on stone bridges.

But most magical of all was passing through the eucalyptus forest. As the trees grow it sheds a layer of bark, ribbons of bark fall away revealing the smooth new layer below, and the soft smell of eucalyptus hung in the air.

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eucalyptus bark falling from the tree, all twisted and peeling. The smell of the eucalyptus is strongest in the morning.

Two more walking days to Santiago De Compostela.

Portomarin to Palas de Rey; Camino Francis 

 

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A quiet morning on The Way of St. James, a single person walking the Camino Frances, the mist hanging in the air, the forest lush and green https://jmeyersforeman.photoshelter.com/index/G0000X9dzoUqwosQ/I0000kbH9J9bBN0U

We left Portomarin about 7:15 am it was about 15C and foggy. We arrived in Palas de Rei just hefore 2 pm. In just under 7 hrs we walked 24 k. 36770 steps. By noon it was 27C – 74% humidity, just a little muggy! Galicia is not flat, all day we were either going up hill or down! Soooo tired!

Three days to reach Ponferrada from Astorga 

 

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we have arrived at the Cruz Ferro,  the Camino to Santiago de Compostela, Spain

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sunset over El Acebo, Spain

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foggy morning leaving El Acebo while walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela, Spain

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the steep descent from El Acebo to Ponferrada Spain along the Camino to Santiago de Compostela, Spain

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taking a rest break along the Camino to Santiago de Compostela, Spain

ASTORGA – RABANAL del CAMINO 20.6

Rabanal del Camino to El Acebo 16.5

El Acebo to Ponferrada 15.6 k

A tougher stretch of road then we have had for a while. While the guidebooks suggest this section can be walked in two days we planned on three days to complete it, and we were happy we did!

This section is characterized by the wild and rocky Cantabrian Mountains tiny stone villages nestled in the mountains.

We climb to the historic site of the Cruz Ferro and the high point of the Irago Mountains before the steep descent down to Ponferrada. Typical Maragato mountain villages with slate-roofed houses like El Acebo. On a clear day, the mountain views are superb. The guidebooks all warn to be prepared for the possibility of cold, rain and wind, one day our day began with fog.

Astorga Spain 

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Astorga Cathedral, interior

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Astorga Cathedral, front door

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Astorga Cathedral, interior

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Astorga Cathedral, interior

We have left Astorga and walked on to Ponferrada, I will write more about that paŕt of the Camino and our journey a little later.

For now, I wanted to show you some photos from our visit to Astorga.

First the 15th century Catedral de Santa María de Astorga, with a Baroque façade and Renaissance retablos completed by a disciple of Michelangelo and Raphael (Gaspar Becerra). While it is not as elaborate or as large as the Burgos Cathedral, nor does it have the magnificent stained glass of the Leon Cathedral but it is one of the oldest cathedrals in Spain. Once inside our eyes are drawn up and there is an amazing sense of height, and it is inspiring in its simplicity as the columns and pillars are designed without ornamentation.

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bags of beans for sale at the Astorga Market

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Astorga Market, Astorga Spain

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Astorga Market, Astorga Spain

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Astorga Market, Astorga Spain

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Astorga Market, Astorga Spain

Our next stop was the Plaza Mayor, Tuesday is market day and the plaza along with many of the side streets was filled with market stalls. The vendors each seemed to have their specialty, fruits and veggies, plants, flowers, bread, cheese, food trucks, stalls of clothes, shoes, toys, books, stationery, purses, bags. I did not see any antique or junk dealers, so no old cameras for me, probably a good thing since the backpack is full!

The Camino, Poppies and a pinhole cap

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Camino to Santiago de Compostela in the spring, the path is lined with poppies fill the fields along the Camino to Santiago de Compostela

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poppies photographed using a pinhole lens cover on my camera.

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poppies photographed using a pinhole lens cover on my camera.

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Bill rest in the sunshine

It has been more than a week since we left Burgos; most of the people we have met and walked with turning the first weeks have moved on while we took an extra rest day in Sahagun. I usually post a photo a day with a mini update on Instagram. If you want to have a look.

During this trip, I have been shooting photos with a pinhole cap on my digital camera. There were so many poppies this week, they filled the ditches and the fields. The pinhole creates a dreamy effect and the sun flare streaks through the frame in a wonderful way. I would love to hear your thought on my exploration into pinhole photography.

For other photos from this Camino and our previous walk can be found on this link

The Camino, Poppies and a pinhole cap

It has been more than a week since we left Burgos; most of the people we have met and walked with turning the first weeks have moved on while we took an extra rest days in Sahagun. I usually post a photo a day with a mini update on Instagram. If you want to have a look.

During this trip I have been shooting photos with a pinhole cap on my digital camera. There were so many poppies this week, they filled the ditches and the fields. The pinhole creates a dreamy affect  and the sunflare streaks through the frame in as wonderful way. I woukd love to hear ypur thought on my exploration into pinhole photography.

For other photos from this Camino and our previous walk can be found on this link….

St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncevalles 

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Leaving St. Jean Pied de Port; our first day on the Camino Frances, our Camino to Santiago de Compostela

25 k, 9 hours, 44,000 steps

We left St Jean Pied de Port about 7 am, crossing the historic river Nive along with many others. The Camino office indicated to use just over 200 people were registered to start the Camino here. April is not the busiest if months, but the weather, at least today, is suitable for the long walk. The forecast for the next few days is more great weather.

This stage of the Camino is reported to be one of the hardest, and I  can honestly say we were exhausted by the end of the day, and we are looking forward to tomorrow’s walk.

Walking the Camino with a Instamatic Camera

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walking the camino to Santiago de Compostela Spain with an Instamatic Camera! 

in 2012 Bill and I walked the Camino to Santiago de Compostela among the many things we carried, was the Fuji Instamatic Camera, and 5 packs of instamatic film. Each day we took a photo and mailed the photo home, my own postcard. Here are just a few of the photo. I have finally decided it is time I should put all of these memories in one place, another time I will show you the map book we used to find out way!

I had read about Polaroid Postcards, but at the time polaroid wasn’t easily available, so we travelled with a Fuji Instamatic Camera. Some of the photos didn’t make it home, some had lost their stamps but still arrived home. I put the address and stamp on the front so that the postmark and info would be on the same side as the photo. I eventually started to tape the stamp to the card to make sure they didn’t fall off.

Most people walking the camino try to adhere to the suggestion that the backpack should not be more than 10% of their body weight, it will come as no surprise to many who know me that my camera gear exceed this guideline, and this was before I added in the Instamatic camera and film. I do have to thank Bill, my wonderful husband, who always help to carry the equipment. The images are a wonderful keepsake from the walk