Tag Archives: Hiking

Camino: From St. Jean Pied de Port to Pamplona

You might wonder why I stoped writing all of a sudden!? Well I went on a walk at the end of May, without any technical equipment really, so I just wrote my diary. In June I started to work full time in a new position at the Academy of Performing Arts in Ludwigsburg and since then I lost track somehow. On the Camino you walk, you talk, you eat and you sleep. I really enjoyed that! In the working world you work, you eat and you sleep. I’m struggeling to adapt myself to the office circle of life at the moment…maybe that is why I was thinking about the Camino experience again tonight. I’m so glad that I joined Chris and Deanne for that one week. It was not my idea to walk the Camino but such a wonderful opportunity to meet friends again and try out some pilgrimage. They wrote a great blog about their camino experience, that you can read here by the way. A few days before I left Frankfurt (Germany) for Bilbao (Spain) I found out that Angie, a friend of mine from Halifax (Canada), was also one her way to walk the Camino. Unfortunately I was not able to meet her, because we started 3 days earlier and I had to return on time to start my new job, but Deanne and Chris did met her on the way. What I learned from all this is, that the world is such a small place nowadays. You just need to communicate your ideas. Maybe a friend would be up for the very same adventure you just dream about, if you would ask. Most often we stop dreaming and say naaa, it’s not gonna work out…but that’s not true. So it’s time to share some picture and dream about traveling tonight.

We have met up in San Sebastian and bused to Bayonne to catch a train to go to St. Jean Pied de Port. Make sure that you print out the way to your hotel from the train station in St. Jean Pied de Port to the place where you are staying and be prepared to get lost in France anyway. It’s really funny. Such a small village and thousands of pilgrims from arround the world, who arrive there every year, but they don’t put up any sings at the train station. We have made it anyway – no worries – and once you are on the trail you are fine. I really loved the walk over the Pyrenees and it’s a good thought to know that I already did the most beautiful and most difficult part of the walk. Thank you Deanne and Chris!!!

I walked the fallowing stages:

St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles (27.7 km): The weather was bad in the early morning, good when we started to walk at 9 am and very rainy and cold from 1 pm on until we arrived in the very comfortable albergue.

Roncesvalles to Zubiri (21 km): Good weather conditions, no complains.

Zubiri to Pamplona (20 km): Great weather. Very sunny day, but we missed Deanne as she had to catch a bus, because of knie issues.

Eveybody we met on the trail had some knie or uncle issues. I guess it’s because the very first stages are very difficult. So what you really need to walk the Camino is a knee bandage, anty inflame cream guys and a good jacket to protect you from the cold on top of the Pyrenees.

I catched a bus from Pamplona back to Bilbao, but I would like to continue my walk some day in the future and I already know it’s easy to get there. 😉 So if I decide that I’m unhappy in the office, but don’t know jet what else I would like to do I could just continue this journey and see what happens.

Walk on and take care!

PS: Yes I visited the theater in Pamplona. Guess what: they only have 14 permanent employees. I don’t know how this art system works…unbelievable.

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Teatro Gayarre
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Fresh Orange Juice is a Lifestyle

Barcelona
Barcelona (view from Tibidabo Hill

Are you ready for a Week in Barcelona!? No preparation necessary. Just go for it! Barcelona is a perfect destination in the fall, especially, if you are traveling alone and are hungry for sunshine, arts and culture. I was sick of the rain in Germany and booked the flights spontaneously with Lufthansa for only 138 Euros. The costs for accommodation are small as well and you can expect to spend about 15 to 20 Euros per night in the off-season.

I stayed in a single room at the Pension Francia for a few nights in a part of the town that is called La Ribera (a great location). What makes the city so vibrant is the fact, that life takes places outside. The waterfront is a big playground, the pubs and restaurants are packed and it’s lovely to get lost in the medieval streets.

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Montserrat

I went hiking for two days in the Montserrat area as well and spent a whole day to explore the forest around Tipidabo Hill. The last few days I stayed in a place that was called Teatro Hostel, because I was up for a bit more company.

Hostel
Teatro Hostel in Barcelona

It’s a comfy little place to stay right next to El Raval, where you can find small theaters, galleries and bars all over the place. On Friday they have a Mojito night at the hostel, which was a lot of fun. Thanks to a guy that I met in the hostel I ended up in a lovely little Gallery with a small stage that is called Sala Fenix (La Rieveta 31). Every Monday night at 9:30 pm they have a Jam Session that you should not miss, if you are in town and like Jazz.

My favorite spots downtown include:

Tibidabo

The church La Sagrada Familia (on a sunny day, to make sure that you see the awesome colors of the windows)

Tibidabo Hill or Montjuic (for great views)

El Raval (for Indian food, bars and a medieval flair)

Mercat de la Boqueria (fresh fruits and other stuff to eat)

Restaurant Al Passatores in El Born for a great breakfast with fresh orange juice

Palmen

5 Things To Do in Cassel

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Fall in Cassel

I read an article about Cassel years ago that I still remember, because of the distinct phrase about the city: “Hier hält der ICE. Hier fährt man durch.” Translated that means something like: „The high speed train stops here, but usually nobody gets out.”

Cassel is not very popular in Germany, although the city is world famous for the Art Exhibition Dokumenta and lately became know for the World Heritage Site Bergpark Wilhelmshoehe (Wir sind Welterbe). How come you might ask? Most of the city centre was destroyed during WWII and the flair is lost. People who only spent a few hours or days here don’t find the nice spots and drive away thinking, this is one of the cities that one doesn’t need to visit twice. To be honest I am not a big fan of the city either, but I live here at the moment. I thought it would be a great idea to share my favorite spots with international students and other guest from around the world, who come to Cassel and wonder what to do here?! That way I can motivate myself and others to give Cassel a (second) chance!

1) Walk around Berpark Wilhelmshoehe

Spent an afternoon in the park to discover Schloss Wilhelmshoehe and hike up to the city’s icon The Hercules. The view over Cassel is great and there are various coffee shops around to make a break.

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Bergpark Wilhelmshoehe in Cassel (Hercules Icon in the back)

2) Make a Bike Tour along the river Fulda

Enjoy the ride and stop for a coffee at the Kollektivcafe (Cafe Kurbad Jungborn) im alten Badehaus.

3) Go visit the Botanic Garden

This is another peaceful place downtown and there is a small Open Air Library

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Botanic Garden in cassel

4) Hike from Cassel to Mount Doernberg

This is a beautiful day hike you can do, if you have a bit more time and great weather. You start from Bergpark Wilhelmshoehe and it takes about 3 hours to hike up to mount Doernberg (600 m). The forest ist called Habichtswald (Naturparkzentrum Habichtswald), the view is gorgeous and there are two nice coffee shops on your way down to the tram (cheap public transport / buy what is call a Multiticket) that brings you back to the Main Train Station (Kulturbahnhof) in Cassel. End up a perfect day with a great movie at the cinema Bali Kino (Bali Cinema) right at the train station.

5) Go check out the Museums, the Theatre or the various Festivals

My favorite events are the Art Exhibition Dokumenta (every five years in the summer) and the Kasseler Dokfest (an International Documentary Film Festival that takes place every year in the fall). I can also recommend the night of the museums.

Helpful Links:

Documenta Cassel

Staatstheater Kassel

Dokfest Kassel

Enjoy your day(s) in Cassel and find out about some nice spots on your own!

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Documentary Film Festival in Cassel (2015)