The Camino follows me everywhere!

I am now trying to catch up on a bunch of posts relating to the last week, and my travels with my wife through Portugal following the Camino Portuguese.

However i thought I would just post this first – something strange which happened yesterday.

Cue the Twilight Zone theme…

We’d flown out of Porto to Frankfurt, where I picked up a rental car and drove about 75kms to a small town on the Rhine River, called Rudesheim. It was dark when we got in, and after a dinner of local food in a small restaurant we strolled around the town.

It was cold, and you could feel that soon, in the next few weeks possibly, snow would fall.

Even in the darkness we could see that the town was beautiful – dominated by a huge and ancient church with what looked to be a Russian shaped spire. I felt pulled to this church, for some reason, and wanted to go in, but it was closed.

The next morning, after a breakfast of beautifully baked German breads and MilchKaffee, we made our way back to the church. Again it looked closed, but I leaned on the heavy metal door and it opened.

Church spire thru trees

Inside it was sparse, unlike some of the more ornate Spanish and Portuguese churches I’d been in lately. The church had been built in the 12th century, but had been bombed during the second world war, and rebuilt. But it still contained some of its original relics.

Int church

I sat in the pews at the back, and couldn’t understand what had so compelled me to come here, to this town, to this church.

As I sat there, the church bells peeled 11 o’clock. I closed my eyes and meditated, and allowed these soft mantric sounds to seep into my being. I cannot describe the feeling.

i walked outside and something caught my eye – something on the wall outside.

A Camino symbol!

Camino sign

It was a Church of St. James, and as it turned out it was on a Camino from Frankfurt, part of the German Jakobswege,Β connecting through to Reims, Paris, and then down through Tours.

How is it that when I was trying to figure out an itinerary through Bavaria, my PGS led me to this town on the German Camino, and to this church.

I don’t understand it.

Rudesheim Church ext.

38 thoughts on “The Camino follows me everywhere!

  1. Waouh , it gave me goose bumps. !! I think the camino has an energetic field, an egregor so strong that it catches in its net the people that resonate with it and then , after they have bathed enough time in it they are attracted to it wherever the Camino is. One a pilgrim, always pilgrim , forever.


    • I don’t know Marie – but I got such a shock when I came put of that church and saw that sign. I thought it must have been a mistake, until I looked into it further.



  2. WOW, Bill, did you even know that Rudesheim was on the German Camino route? It’s sort of other-worldly or like you call it twilight-zone and definitely within the PGS sphere!! πŸ™‚


    • Hi Britta,

      No, I had absolutely no idea. I just chose Rudesheim as our first night in Germany because I didn’t want to stay in a big city like Frankfurt, it was an easy drive from the airport. But also it called to me. It just seemed “right.”

      Very odd.



  3. Bill,

    Being called into the church and seeing the Camino sign when you came back outside, is probably not a coincidence at all.

    The Camino calls and when it does, we must answer. I have found out there is no ignoring that calling. I even see yellow arrows on the streets here in Arizona. They are from the Gas Company, markers for the gas lines, but for me it is the Camino calling.

    As usual, this was another great blog post, my friend!



    • Dear Arlene,

      Many thanks – very strange that, hey…

      Once it’s in your blood… I can imagine how you’d see yellow arrows in your area. You become attuned to them.

      When Jennifer and I were walking out the first day from Porto, on a practice walk, to make sure we knew the way, she walked right past the first yellow arrow, which I saw immediately.

      She wasn’t tuned in to finding them, whereas I was.

      By the end of April she will be!



    • Hi Arlene

      I hope this entry posts. I’ve tried about 10 times in the last few weeks and for whatever reason WordPress has deemed my words not worthy enough to print.

      I know what you mean about being called. When I met Bill I told him my intention was to walk the Camino Francis in 2022 – it still is. But he predicted I would walk it within 5 years and then soon after modified that to 12 months. And he was right. I can’t wait to join you guys next year. My tickets are booked and paid for!! I’m so excited.

      Next year is going to be a great year.


      • Donna,

        I am so looking forward to the Camino (once again) in April. It is going to be a “hoot” I am sure. I’ve walked it twice alone. To be in a group, especially the PGS family of Bill, Jennifer, Steve, Marie the Basque and You, is sure to guarantee good times and good food.

        I haven’t booked my flights yet, but have sent my deposit to Duncan so I’m absolutely, positively in! I will be going on to work on a mosaic in Spain after the tour and still need to figure out the logistics of that.

        My assistant will have to meet me in Spain and we will have to make our way back to the beginning of the Camino Frances to the little town of Ventosa. I believe the mosaic will take approximately 3 + months to complete and therefore, think I will need a Visa allowing me to remain in country longer. And I haven’t even begun to look into that yet.

        Email me if you would like to chat Camino –



  4. 1136 say the historical documents for the founding of the St. Jakobskirche in Villach, Austria,my birthtown. I have lived on the Jakobsweg ( The path of St. James) all my growing up years. It is a beautiful gothic church and a churchtower one can climb giving you a spectacular panorama. I grew up among churches ringing their bells to mark time, birth, weddings, death. It is something one has to get used to, but it is comforting to know, not much has change in that regard. Last time I was there, was in 2011, visiting my attorney, who had one more bequest to give me, a little box, that at first I thought to be a “snuff” box.. but it held surprises that changed my life. So in the shadows of this childhood church, my journey to Santiago began. Toronto, too, has a St. James Cathedral… Camino, never far away.

    So Bill, not odd, am just amazed that after all the things you have experienced during and post Camino, you are still surprised.



      • Dear Bill,

        The Box contained, a broken celtic cross, a childlike drawing showing a birthing celebration, an oathing stone, and a tiny silver medaillon of the Madonna of Lourdes. The cross belonged to my father, the drawing was done by me as a child, the Madonna medaillon was my mothers and the oathing stone part of their wedding pledge. The box came with me on the Camino. Not everything came back. The cross, that I thought I had fixed, broke off my chain in Pamplona, in front of the Cathedral and as I frantically searched for it, an old women stopped me and handed me a Tau and walked away. The oathing stone I placed by Cruz de Ferro, it felt right. The stickfigure drawing, floats in the ocean by Muxia. There is more to this drawing, but am still a bit mixed up about it. You see, I own an artist rendering done by a street artist from Victoria B.C. I bought it in 2000. The Medaillon came back with me, including a new stone, I picked up at the White Cross between Roncesvalles and Espinal.

        Remember, the time I told you I never walked alone, it was rather crowded even without fellow pilgrims.

        Light and Love, Ingrid


  5. Cue the Twilight Zone theme indeed!

    I was reading your post this morning while waiting in the hospital emergency room with my son.
    Imagine my surprise when the nurse told us to go to radiology by following…..yup,… the yellow arrows on the hallway floors!

    πŸ™‚ Sonia


  6. This is one that I will simply like and really offer no comment on. I’m just not the true believer that most of you are. I applaud your beliefs and dedication, but I can’t claim them. Maybe after the April Camino tour I will. Remember, I am a blank canvas waiting to be painted. πŸ™‚

    My main purpose for the Portugese Camino is not being called to the Camino, but being called to spend quality time with Bill first, and the other pilgrims second. Perhaps I will be converted. πŸ™‚

    Did I just comment? Hmmmm!!



  7. Good post, Bill. I seem to accept coincidences as such, and don’t desire to explain them. It is interesting how people react differently.

    In a few minutes I’m heading off, on foot, to visit my mother (15 km return) – she and I have debated philosophy, beliefs, faith, religion for years and years and years. Now at 91, her logic is failing, so we’ve eased off on the discussions. However, during my walks, I am able to conduct both sides of the conversation on my own!



    • Clare, we got it all wrong (my mother in law is 87 and her logic is failing)… they are very clear, it is us who are confused. At least that is what I am being told by her over and over… “nothing wrong with my thinking dear… you just don’t understand”. Makes for some interesting monologues… since a conversation is a challenge to carry. Ingrid


      • Yes, Ingrid. I am finding conversations to be very challenging (i.e. frustrating). She cannot carry any thought process forward. I have to constantly tell myself to stop reacting in an immature way. (I still aspire to a few years of wise maturity before my own decline.) The 7.5 km walk each way helps a lot.


    • Hi Clare –

      You’re right, although I don’t believe in coincidences.

      A walk to and from your mum’s place sounds like the perfect way to prepare, then to process, your meeting her. What a great thing to do!



    • Dear Clare, I went through that ‘process’ with my mother-in-law when she slowly, over a period of 4 1/2 years, deteriorated. It took me some time, but I learnt in the end to listen and pick up the conversation where she seemed to be most comfortable or, at times, insistent. It certainly made for interesting times, but looking back, frustrating as it was at times, I’d not be without one minute of the time spent with her. I had to get around my visits to her by car to fit in the rest of my life, but can see how wonderful it could be to have the time to walk to fit in the pre- and post conversations with yourself!! πŸ™‚


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