August 18, 2010
Hiking in Paris
Did you know that a section of the St. James pilgrimage walk to Santiago de Compostela in Spain starts in Paris?
Historically, France’s capital city was one of four meeting points for medieval pilgrims making the trek. A description of this route, as well as other walks, can be found at www.rando-paris.org., in French, run by the Departmental Committee of Hiking in Paris. The organization sells detailed guides on various walks in the city and beyond. It also offers free, themed walks on the third Thursday of each month between 7 and 10 p.m. These walks are just over four miles long. Find more information on the pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostella at www.csj.org.uk.
An array of highways and roads in Germany awaits travelers interested in the history and culture of the country.
“Castle Road” runs from Mannheim to Prague in the Czech Republic. It features more than 90 castles, castle ruins and palaces along the route. To get information on cycling paths, events and accommodations, go to www.germany-tourism.de/ENG/ destination_germany/ master_tlfstrasse-id6.htm.
The “Fairy Tale” route, about 375 miles, runs from Hanau to Bremen. It links 60 places associated with the Brothers Grimm and their stories. Find more details at http://deutsche-maerchenstrasse.com.
If half-timbered architecture thrills you, try the 1,735-mile “Half-timbered Houses” route. It runs from the city of Stade and the mouth of the Elbe River in the north to Lake Constance in the south, but branches into several other routes along the way. Find details about the route at http://deutsche-fachwerkstrasse.de; it has an English option.
The 175-mile “German Volcanoes” route travels through the volcanic history of the Eifel region, around the cities of Aachen, Cologne and Koblenz. Find more details at www.deutsche-vulkanstrasse.com; it has an English option.