A circuitous route to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Stage One beginning in Munich, Germany ending in Jerusalem - traveling through Austria, Italy, Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Israel. Second stage from Vienna, through Germany, Czech Republic, Holland, Belgium, France and Spain.
Final destination - Santiago!

Post Script: The changeable situation in Jerusalem has led to a change in plans. The Rome to Jerusalem leg of this journey has been changed to the 'End to End' in the UK, after which the journey will resume as above in Vienna.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


I have titled this post Gubbio, even though there is other news in it, but due to me getting a sore knee - no idea how- we have spent an extra day here.

Saint Frances is known as the Peacemaker in Gubbio.  Here he made a pact with a wolf that had been terrorising the townsfolk, and from then on the wolf had no need to kill for food, because people fed him, and the townsfolk no longer lived in fear.

Over the last few days we have not done a lot of walking, for a number of reasons:-  time, tiredness and injury!  For some reason leaving Sansepolcro a bout of tiredness hit us and everything was an effort.  As a result, we tried, unsuccessfully, to shorten the day, in the end shortening to such an extent that we didn't walk at all, other than to the railway station and around the town!   The tourist office tried to help us by calling the only taxi in town, which didn't answer.  At 11.30 we gave up on the plan to catch a taxi halfway - to the top of the mountain, and instead decided to catch a bus the whole way!  Fortunately I decided some hour early to wander over to the bar where one buys bus tickets only to be told there was no bus - it was Sunday!  Back again to the tourist office and a different assistant ( her colleague was new, hence her !is take!) Informed me that we could catch a train, which after another couple of hours wait, we did.

This night was spent in Citta di Castello.  We arrived early evening just as the market was packing up.  Another fascinating walled village, but mostly on the flat rather than a hillside.  Fascinating old buildings, including a circular tower, and a beautiful Cathedral, and we had a delightful room, just around the corner from the main square, in the hotel Umbria.
Some of the frescoes in the cathedral in Città di Castello.
A small portion of the beautiful carving on the cathedral door in Città di Castello,
and inside the cathedral.
A street scene in Città di Castello,

and the round tower.

Fortunately the receptionist spoke very good English and advised us on how we could get to the next destination - taxi!  We had two options, one to leave at 6.00am and get near the top of the mountain, or leave whenever we wanted and catch the taxi the whole way.  We chose this latter option, being delivered (and introduced to Mr Tinca) to hotel Tinca in Pietralunga in time for a great lunch.
 The square in Pietralunga, looking across at the church where we attended a concert later that evening - organ, and a talented soprano who switched and played the recorder a couple of times (both the descant and the treble).
 A view of the other side of the square.
A little back street in Pietralunga.

In Pietralunga we had time to explore the tiny hilltop village, have a sing in the church, and greet our pilgrim friends as they arrived.  We went to a wonderful concert of Baroque music that evening in the church and along with two of our pilgrim friends we swelled the audience by a quarter!
 On the other side of the square this was the view we got.
As we left the next morning cloud covered the sun, and a haze filled the valley.
 Here we have walked down into the valley and come up the other side to get a fine view of Pietralunga.
As we descended the hill at San Benedetto to where our "taxi" angels were, we passed this cross.

Yesterday we set off with every intention of walking the whole way to Gubbio, but as I was descending the first hill my eyes started to light up with pain in my knee.  We stopped at San Benedetto, right outside a B&B.  A woman saw me limping and offered to help.  As is the way on the Camino, it was just the right person at the right time!  They were taking their friend into Gubbio to get fitted for crutches.  She had fallen on the stairs on her first night there and broken her leg, I only had a painful knee.  They gave us a ride to Gubbio, I have put myself on Voltaren and strapped my knee, and we have had extra time to explore this amazing city.  We will see what tomorrow, and another night of rest, brings with regard to walking.
 The Fransican church in Gubbio,
And inside the church.

Now it is time to bore you with more photos.

 More or less our first view of the old part of Gubbio, mixed with the busy modern market.
 The market has packed up and gone, and peace reigns again.
 Heading up to look through what is known as the Ducal Palace, basically the original "Council" building.
 The fantastic view from here.
Looking up towards the Basilica, where today we caught a cable car there and back.
A typical street in Gubbio, complete with the washing drying.
The Grand Piazza.
 Julie, showing off her new hat, against the backdrop of Gubbio.
 A higher view of Gubbio, from the cable car basket.
 One of the "Porte's" (gateways) into Gubbio.
In Italy funeral notices are pasted on A4 paper on fthe notice board in town.
Going up in the cable car this is the view we got.
 This Basilica is dedicated to Saint Ubaldo.
 Each year, in May, the "candlesticks" are taken down the mountain to the town of Gubbio, where teams of men run through the streets with them, then up the mountain where they stay till next year.  They are topped with statues of the the three patron saints and always go in order, Saint Ubaldo first, and each one weighs around 300 kilos! 
I loved the frescoes surrounding the organ.


  1. I am very glad you called this post 'Gubbio'- this is as far north as I will get on my walk next April. It looks to be a beautiful town- and I am glad to see there is a cable car all the way up to that basilica high on the hill! I hope the voltaren does the trick- partly for selfish reasons as I want to see photos of the trail south from here- but also because I want you to be able to enjoy the walk.

  2. PS Am also glad the hills now look like the hills close to home rather than the earlier mountains. Doing walks in the Gorge and other hills close to Palmy should be sufficient training!

    1. PPS. Have 'pinched' one of your photos to put on a blog post of my own with info about where I am walking next April! http://kiwinomad06.blogspot.co.nz/2014/08/where-i-am-heading.html