Tuesday 8 October 2019

Final reflection CONTINUED

In summing up my reflection, it was very special to share this Camino with Jan, Sandy and Joanie, we all love and support each other with every step.
I’m forever grateful for their friendship
Till the next time xo
( I meant to put our reflections all on one page but this blogging sometimes has a mind of its own !)

Final Reflection from all the Pilgrims

The Pilgrims are now home and adjusting to life and all that entails.  I asked Joanie, Sandy and Jan to write their thoughts for the blog.
Sandy writes:
Hi Muriel,
I so admire and appreciate you for writing the blog .  It is not easy! So many have loved the blog!!! I saw Donna at church and she was raving about it and your excellent style. (Here I will add....thank you Sandy and Donna M.)
Here is my reflection (Sandy)
When I told people we were going on another Camino, they generally looked puzzled and asked “why”.  My answer was vague. I would say I don’t know, it is hard to describe, there is something about it , we like it!  After this past Camino, I have decided I like the simplicity. Our lives are very busy and we are pulled in many directions and we are intertwined in many people's lives.  On the Camino our only purpose is to walk to the next town. We can slow down and enjoy the beauty of the world God has created!!
At the end of the day, we are physically exhausted but mentally rested and spiritually lifted!
One of my favourite days this Camino was the day we went from Portugal to Spain.  We had a short, exhilarating boat ride on a small boat as we crossed to the next country. Then we began a magical walk!!  We were beside the ocean and we could feel the mist on our faces. We could hear the waves and the foghorns blaring. There were few pilgrims and it felt like we were alone.  Eventually, we walked into an old town so extraordinarily different from Vancouver!  The old buildings, the narrow cobbled streets and the open squares where people are laughing, drinking and eating. We sat down for our grande beers!!  A very special day shared with three special friends!

Thoughts from Sandy Pilgrim 2.

Jan writes:
Dear P’s
It is difficult to summarize my favourite thing about our latest Camino!
I think for me I loved being close to the water. I enjoyed walking along the water hearing the waves
 and looking at the spectacular scenery!  It was special being with the three of you sharing this amazing journey!
Jan/ P4 xxx

Joanie writes:
Hi Muriel
You should know that I received many positive comments on your blog, some nights I wondered how you had the energy to write it, it really was a labour of love, thanks so much.
As requested my thoughts:
Third time lucky, Camino #3 Portuguese route was my favourite and amazingly we 4 didn’t have any real problems with feet, healthy weather, missed flights etc. Yes, we had blisters, cuts, a cracked tooth - we didn’t walk as fast or far as some but we continued to smile (for me after I had my tooth fixed 😁) , greet fellow pilgrims with a “Buen Camino” and “where are you from” . Meeting fellow pilgrims is one of my best memories. Over the 3 Caminos in 2 countries we walked over 1000 kms, all the while we drank lots of cafe con leche, laughed, prayed, had many many grande beer, great conversations, most importantly we supported each other physically and spiritually.
We 4 P’s are lucky and so blessed that we could do the 3 caminos together, they were the best of times.  Dear pilgrims Sandy, Muriel and Jan, love you and thank you.
Joanie P1

My Camino Reflection.....Muriel P3
We did so many wonderful things it is difficult to choose which was the most meaningful , because it was ALL meaningful. I would agree that the ocean played a big part as well as the simplicity of walking and opportunity for self reflection .  With all our needs being met we just had to “walk”
Two events that had a lasting impression were not on the actual walk. From Paris we traveled to Auvers sur Oise which is where Van Gogh spent his last days. It was moving to stand in his very bedroom where he lived and to walk where he walked and painted. The Anne Frank museum moved me to tears.

Tuesday 1 October 2019

Last day in “Dam” Amsterdam ❤️

We decided last night that today we would try to use the word dam as often as we could just for Fun!
Today we had tickets for The Van Gogh museum that would get us in at 9:30.  The graduated entry is a “dam” good idea.....as it makes for easier viewing without unlimited “dam” people!
All of us  “dam” girls are huge fans of Vincent Van Gogh.....as you will have no “dam” doubt noticed by this being the third Van Gogh  event we  have attended on this “dam” holiday. The museum is amazing, the largest collection of his work in the world. Myself and Jan, Joanie and Sandy are very familiar with much of the details of his life and works but never tire of  reading about him again.  The museum has some paintings we have never seen in original form before, and some we had also never seen at all.  The painting Van Gogh considered to be his best work is called The Potato Eaters, but his favourite was the painting of his bedroom.  I bought a cushion cover of that painting. Jan and Sandy bought books.
As the “dam” morning went on more and more people were entering the museum and of course there is no provision to make the earlier people leave.....us included. After about 2 1/2 hours we reluctantly left for a bite to eat before our next excursion.  We stopped at a Dutch pancake house for crepes with bananas and chocolate and shared a toasted sandwich.  At 2pm we had booked a canal boat ride with The Dam Boat Guys. They really are called the damn boat guys! Our boat was open to the “dam” elements, unlike some of the bigger boats which had see through rain covers, but which also carried loads of people and got the tour via a loudspeaker. Our boat had 10 guests and a personable guide with a good sense of humour.  It started off well with introductions and everyone saying where they were from. 4 were from Seattle, 2 from near Manchester in the UK and the four of us.  Ollie our guide was a “dam” Dutchman. He said smokers had to sit in the back, and 2 of the Seattle people sat there right away.....I think they may have had a joint. Anyway they were all “dam” good fun.  All was well till the “dam” heavens opened and out came the umbrellas......soon they were not enough so Ollie parked under a “dam” bridge and we got out the heavy all encompassing rain ponchos.  Once we were all covered up we set sail again.  The tour was 1 1/2 hours and took us to parts of Amsterdam we hadn’t gotten to. We did learn about some history of the canals, architecture and such.   Holland has a monarchy and the Queen of Holland was on a visit to Canada when she was expecting a child.....yes ,the child was born in Ottawa, Canada turned a part of the hospital into Dutch territory so that the infant could be considered Dutch born and an heir to the throne.   Every year on the date of the child’s birth the Dutch send tulips to Canada.  That’s “dam” special.
After our boat ride we went to Dam Square which is where the Royal Palace is.....and a large shopping centre where we went inside to see the architecture, and bought a few gifts to take home.
Returning to the street we made our way to a restaurant recommend by our boatman, but discovered a reservation would have been necessary. Back out on the dark wet street we went to an Italian place very near our hotel.  All in all we had a “dam” great day.
Tomorrow we hope to enjoy a delicious pancake at”The Happy Pig” and depending on the weather may get up to something else As Well!
We will be checking out of “dam” Amsterdam and checking in with KLM for our flight home .