Saturday, June 12, 2010

I am a pilgrim ......

Happy Anniversary Garry

It is bright and sunny in Toulouse and I have enjoyed walking around waiting until 1500 to become an official pilgrim along the way. I now have my pilgrim credential, or pilgrim passport, this is required for obtaining stamps from along the way to show in Santiago de Compostela as verification that you were on the Camino. When I asked an Australian if she needed a credential to stay at the places along the Swiss Alps she said, "WHAT, this is the stupidest thing I have ever heard". She showed me her ignorance.

I started this morning at the Cathedrale St-Etienne (St Stephen) where I thought that I would get my credential but no, not so, credentials are issued at basilica St Sernin after 1500. However, for pilgrims there is a beautiful gilded statue of Saint James at the Cathedrale. From there I went to the Capitole to check out a possible ancestor (according to my cousin Ruth our family comes from this region). Durance was my grandmothers name and there is a Durance bust (headshot) with a huge nose that I saw on my last visit to Toulouse. The Capitole was not open for visitors today so maybe tomorrow I will say hi to the old guy.

I next stopped in at the Eglise ND du Taur but I had to run outside quickly as it was so old and dusty smelling that I would soon be sneezing loudly. From what I saw (it was old and dark inside) it may be interesting for pilgrims to view. My eyes and nose are still itchy two hours later.

I had lunch with a French couple from Toulouse (although the husband is originally from Colombia and speaks several languages). The couple were seated beside me and we started talking when I asked him how he ordered his perfect (for me) steak. My steak could have walked off the plate. Andrée where are you when I need you? I learned four new French words (for me) today ..... Bien cuit for well done and cachet-tampon for the pilgrim stamp. This couple proved my point (to me) that the folks from this region can be super friendly. I photogaphed some of the balconies reminiscent of New Orleans for Dawn, it feels very French Quarter in some areas of Toulouse.

Yesterday my flight across the pond was smooth but the flight from Paris to Toulouse was the bumpiest I have ever been on, no matter I am here safely.

With thanks to Karen and Andrew I was able to spread Vegemite on my fresh buttered roll at breakfast this morning. Yummy.

That is it for today. I am tired of this keyboard which is not QWERTY. I should type without looking and let you see what I get .... ,qny of the keys qre different (many of the keys are different). I lost time trying to find the ampisand and forget spellcheck it is trying to change English to French with almost every word highlighted :) so please forgive any errors, thank you.

To the Solitary Walker - thanks for the Buen Camino - I am on my way ....


  1. Anonymous11:39 PM CDT

    Happy, happy anniversary my dear and bon camino for the start of your St. James' year pilgrimage. Love you, Ne

  2. Anonymous8:44 AM CDT

    Hey Luiza: Happy Anniversary to you both! I didn't know this date previously, which lets me know that even very old friends can always learn something new about one another! Also, wishing you a magical experience, once again. Buen Camino. Love, Dawnie

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  4. Thank you Garry.
    I had a nice day in Toulouse.


    And this old friend does not know the date of your anniversary with Danny :) When the Internet connection is fast I will check email when Blogging, otherwise Text is good.


  5. Dearest, I am going to follow this blog, never did before actually, and I liked the beginning. I am very curious how the French part will be. But meeting nice people on the first day, that's "very Camino" (as you remember) and it is also "very you".....
    Enjoy every minute of it. In my heart I am with you. Besos fuertes y Bon Camino, Kees

  6. Thank you all for the greetings. I am in Puente La Reina at the end of Camino Aragones/Chemin D´Arles and will Blog about the way now. I have to stand up to use this computer so it will not be a long Blog.

  7. **coughes at spelling**

    I remember a certain person taking me to task about my spelling, but your forgiven!

    Vegemite? You wouldn't be antipodean perchance ;)