It has been nearly a year since my wife, Nancy, daughter, Andrea, and I began our Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in northern Spain. The experience of backpacking nearly 500 kilometers from Burgos, Spain to Santiago de Campostela has left an indelible mark on my soul. There are so many thoughts and personal insights that I would like to share.

Nancy and I are returning to Europe for primarily to attend the wedding of a dear friend’s son. However, last year’s Camino experience has changed not only the way I view travel but the way I view the world. In the coming weeks I will share my humble observations. We will arrive in England and stay with our dear friends in their home for just one day before we travel to northern Wales for five days. We’ll be in rural Wales and plan to hike in a national forest and climb to the summit of Mount Snowden. The United Kingdoms’s second tallest mountain. From Wales we’ll stay in Stratford upon Avon. The little English town William Shakespeare made famous. After Stratford it will be off to Portsmouth, England for the wedding. There will be festivities for four straight days!  I hope to survive that! After recuperating we plan to attend Easter Mass in a local church. The following day we leave for Cologne, Germany where we will meet our Camino sister, Heike whom I spoke of extensively during our Camino in Spain. Heike joined Nancy, Andrea, and I while walking the Camino, ended up walking the entire Camino with us, and as a result have become life-long friends. She is one of our greatest gifts of walking the Camino in Spain. To keep our Camino experience fresh, Heike, Nancy and I will backpack about 100 kilometers from Cologne to Heike’s home town of Aachen. The path we will take is part of the Camino de Santiago that is in Germany! In Germany the Camino is known as Jakobsweg.  We’ll visit Aachen with Heikemas our fabulous tour guide. We will also travel, by vehicle ;o), to the village of Altlay where Nancy and I lived from 1979 to 1981 when I was serving in the US Air Force. Heike made reservations at the same Gasthaus Nancy and I stayed when we arrived as newly weds. We even know the owner’s of the Gasthaus!  We will return to Colorado from Brussels, Belgium.

The Camino continues!