Thursday, July 12, 2007

Bourg de Saint-Rhémy: Apple Tales & Pilgrim Trails

Cool street lamp huh? That lamp is in the parking area of Bourg de Saint Rhémy in Valle d'Aosta. The village is tiny, but all along the central path (I can't even rightly call it a street because it's so short!), these same iron fixtures lead the way, lending a special feel to an ordinary-looking town. What do they signify? Well, let me tell you, in light of my rekindled verve for hiking, I wanted to supplement the previous post with an impressive trail discovery that reminded me of the phrase - "Don't talk the talk if you can't walk the walk." We're speaking beaucoup miles here. Bill Bryson beaucoup! And this slippah shufflin' islander learned yet another nifty piece on european history when my husband explained that the man with the knapsack was the symbol for.....

Via Francigena, an ancient pilgrimage route forged by pellegrini coming from France. WHERE they were heading is a no-brainer (even if the light bulb didn't go on right away), and ties right into that old saying all roads lead to Rome. Pilgrims trailblazing along these imposing mountains, risking life and limb to reach the Eternal City? I was flabbergasted. It would be the ultimate hike. This Via Francigena website has an itinerary that inspires me to attempt walking a part of it, say from Bourg de Saint Rhémy to Aosta, but the webpages for Associazione Europea delle Vie Francigene goes the whole blessed mile with detailed information to plan your own itinerary. I figure 20 kilometers is my limit. Piece of cake.

Another thing to catch my eye was this messed up arrow with an apple at the end. Regulars should know how much I luuuv stories, and here again, my husband comes to the rescue with a beautiful little tale about a man by the name of Wilhelm Tell, his son, and a rule laid down by some pompous-ass German king. An ordinance that could prove fatal if taken lightly. I'm not giving it away! Here's a story link with background music to rival the tunes to older versions of The Legend of Zelda. In any case, even if that cute curlycue for Hotel Suisse has nothing to do with the legend, an arrow through an apple is a typical Swiss symbol, like fake fur steering wheel covers and cheese with pukas (that's hawaiian for holes). The hotel is in an ideal location for hikers and pilgrimage followers, with the added plus of having a jambon producer right across the way. The restaurant makes a tasty carbonada dish which I'll try to work out for an upcoming post, that is, if I don't run off and do one of these trails in Valle d'Aosta.

Trail signs for several hikes leading off of Bourg de Saint-Rhémy

Saved comment(s)

Hi Rowena - That is an interesting trip. You are as usual, with an eye open to all the onolicious grinds on your path (no problem reading the details!). But, you are also learning new things and going for a nice hike. I remember hearing about William Tell a long time ago. Interesting link.
barbara | Homepage | 07.14.07 - 6:24 pm

Rowena, I hope you do run off and take one of those trails in the Valle d'Aosta, as long as you take lots of photos to share with us! On second thought, by the looks of that sign, most look rather long! I love it there. Oh the fresh air!
Ambra | Homepage | 07.14.07 - 2:36 pm

You are truly blessed in many ways, Rowena. I, too, am a workaholic, but these days I'm trying to slow down. Working for the college instead of for myself, has helped take the obsession down a notch. I've run across men around my age who took early retirement, or lucked out in some way, that seem utterly bored with all that free time. Ironic, how we don't often see what we do have.
stephen Newton | Homepage | 07.13.07 - 6:58 pm

I agree with Kathy - you and your husband do so many things, you motivate me to get the lead out!
Madam Chow | Homepage | 07.12.07 - 5:27 pm

I love all these stories! I thought the man with the knapsack was who else...Santa!
Kat | Homepage | 07.12.07 - 2:38 pm

You make me feel all motivated to go exercise, hiking, workout...or something to that extent, hehe. Thanks for the link to the legend - I'm going to read it right now!
Kathy | Homepage | 07.12.07 - 10:34 am