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Change of scenery

Yesterday morning I left Rome. Now I’m surrounded by mountains and valleys, rivers and lakes. This is Switzerland, the home of chocolate and cheese.

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Today I visited Gruyere, the village where the well-known cheese comes from. What I didn’t know was that Gruyere also was the home town of the artist who created Alien.

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Annonser

I will write more about our days in Rome when (/if) I have the energy and time. Now I focus on spending the last moments with my dear pilgrim family before we go our separate days.

Here is a short update in pictures. And yes, pilgrims visit the touristy sites too.

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Outside the Lateran basilica we said farewell to St Francis.

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St Paul Behind the Wall, the church where St Paul is buried.

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Framme i Rom

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Jag har inte bloggat på flera dagar eftersom wifin inte fungerat. I skrivande stund har vi nått Rom, besökt Petersplatsen och basilikan och fått den sista stämpeln i våra pilgrimspass.

Detta har hänt:
I värdhuset i Poggio san Lorenzo träffade vi Johan från Nederländerna. De andra hade träffat honom tidigare och kände igen hans spår på vägen; han är lång och har väldigt stora skor. Johan vandrade med oss följande dag, till Ponticelli, den tyngsta etappen under vandringen. Han hade redan en bokning på ett hotell och eftersom vi inte hittade något eget hotell valde vi också hans. Det låg en bit ifrån vandringsleden så hotellägaren hämtade oss med bil.
Följande dag, på vägen till Monterotondo, sade vi hejdå till Johan som ville gå lite långsammare.

Monterotondo var en trevlig liten stad (tekniskt sett kanske en förort till Rom) med en trevlig kyrka där vi gick i mässa eftersom det var söndag. Liturgin var väldigt lik den lutherska hemma i Finland så det var lätt att följa med. Första psalmen vi sjöng var ”Herren vår Gud är en konung” på italienska, en trevlig överraskning. Jag var inte förberedd för bekanta melodier.

Vårt sista stopp före målet var Monte Sacro, en förort till Rom. De två sista dagarna var etapperna korta men de kändes tunga eftersom vi främst gick på asfalt.

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More is to come

The silence of the blog is caused by lack of Wifi. I’ll be back.

After waiting for the rain to stop – without success – we started walking towards Rieti. Our hostess Emese had adviced us not to go the normal route since it would be slippery and dangerous, so we walked a lot by the road. In two places very nice people came to us and told us what way to go, always in moments when we didn’t know which way to go. There was a lot of variation in weather and terrain. Rain, mist, no mist, warm, cold wind, alphalt roads, dirt roads, mud roads, stairs, hillsides, hilltops …

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These few days, specially today, I have made some observations regarding this area and the people in it:
1. There are dogs. Lots of dogs. All kinds of dogs, everywhere.
2. The dogs bark. A lot. It’s pretty annoying when you have walked past ten houses in a row and there was a barking dog in the garden of everyone of them.
3. The Italians (at least in this area) have one absolute favourite car: the Fiat Panda. Everybody has a Panda; there are new Pandas, old Pandas, four-wheel drive Pandas, and they are everywhere. It’s funny and kind of cute to see.
(To be continued.)

Rieti is a bigger town with the nice mountain Terminillo in the background.

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Thursday morning

Waiting for the rain to end. Today’s walk should be relatively easy and take around five hours so we can wait a while. Poggio Bustone has a beautiful view over the Rieti valley, but we have not seen much of it. This morning it looks like this:

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Without the fog/cloud/rain the view over the Rieti valley is beautiful.


While we’re waiting you can read Sandy’s amazing blog.

Vi väntar på att regnet ska avta. Dagens etapp borde vara ganska enkel så vi har gott om tid. Eftersom jag inte har så mycket att berätta kan ni passa på att läsa Sandys blogg Caminoist.org. Han är en erfaren pilgrim och har berättelser från flera olika pilgrimsvägar.

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Today we took a day off. We visited a Franciscan convent (in the left side of the picture) and were let in on a guided tour by one brother. A sikh yogi from India and his guides had arranged the visit and let us join.
Saint Francis had lived in the same place where the convent now is. We also walked uphill to a chapel in the mountain, where St Francis supposedly used to pray.

Our shoes are still wet from yesterday so we placed them in the window to dry. In the afternoon the clouds got darker and we could see the flashes of lightning far away. Only moments later a strong wind hit the village and brought pretty heavy rain too, and the power was gone for some minutes. One hour later the storm was gone and the peace of Poggio Bustone could return.

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Shoes drying in the window.