Friday, August 24, 2007

the templar trail

Well, it had to happen sometime. My gratitude to Bill Cornelius for being the first to respond to one of my blogs. For his account of the Polish-Canadian pilgrimage to Midland, scroll down to the August 11th entry. And we expect to be hearing more from Bill when he gets back in six weeks... from his walk to Rome on the Via Francigena pilgrimage road. Go, Bill!

Yes, it's a peregrinating world out there, as people keep beating new paths and fixing up old ones. It was just a few days ago I was talking about the Abraham Path from Turkey to Hebron, and now here comes Brandon Wilson with "the Templar Trail." Here's his message, sent last week to the Santiagobis Yahoo Group.

A trail that I walked last year runs from France to Jerusalem. It traces an early pilgrimage route that coincides with that of the Romans and Godfrey de Bouillon of the First Crusades. The Templar Trail traces the Donau radweg, a beautiful bicycle path through Germany, Austria to Budapest. Then you walk onward through Serbia, Bulgaria and Turkey. There is plenty of tradition along the way, as you pass through 11 countries and areas practicing three major religions. No problem generally finding good accommodation and I was able to walk it in 160 days (133 walking days) for about the same cost as the Camino. I've been talking to groups about it lately with the hope that it will someday become an international trail for peace (fitting irony there, given its role in the Crusades).

Ultreia, Brandon Wilson

This one's not for the faint of heart. 4200 k's and not another pilgrim soul... Or not yet, anyway. Brandon's book on the walk, including stages, distances, sights and practical details, will be out in January. To find out more about this intrepid pilgrim (whose journeys have also taken him to Tibet and Africa), check out

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