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    • Day 28

      Day 25 - Reims to Trepail

      May 15, 2023 in France ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

      Obviously, the Cathedral in Reims is a highlight. But a walk through Basilique Saint Remi is also worth the visit. The VF path going out of Reims was along the canal (12 km worth). It's a very nice way to leave an urban area, though a little hard on the feet as it's all paved. Believe it or not, those water pumps work. All you have to do is rotate the brass handle at the top. I saw signs of commerce with what looked like wheat being loaded onto a barge. After the canal walk, I moved into farmland for a while and then onto the vineyards. I saw a few names I recognised. The day ended with a mixture of forest and vineyard walking. It looks like the French forestry department takes a similar approach to our Australian ones - take out whatever you can get (sustainably, of course 😉). I saw a little snake today. It looked sluggish and probably could have used some sun (no complaints from me, I got a good lot of sun this morning). I met my first walking pilgrim on the path this afternoon. A Brit, who sleeps 'wild' as he calls it. It seems to me that those with a tent are much better served and have a lot more options than those of us who are relying on hotels, etc., on the VF. The highlight of my day, though, was a WhatsApp call from my girls - I was so happy to see them 💗 ☺️ 💕 😊.Read more

    • Day 19

      Verzy 15 miles

      July 31, 2023 in France ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

      Strange things, feet. Yesterday I was pretty happy with progress and it was a 22 mile day. Today, just 15 miles, so why are they about as sore as they have ever been? This isn’t the sort of pain from blisters which you get when pressing on the blister, this is the sort of pain you get inside the foot when you take your weight off it. It can come on hours after you have stopped walking. Suspect that part of the problem is my shoes. Very lightweight and great for road walking. But walking on small stones is not so good. Think I am bruising the soles of my feet. Very tender.

      Day of two halves. After a keek in Reims cathedral the rest of the morning was spent walking along beside a canal. In the afternoon I was up in rolling hills, through vineyards, on small, stony paths. Ouch.

      Met the usual “shop shut for annual holidays” stuff today and I think it will be increasingly common for shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. Just to add variety, tonight’s accommodation is in a small village with one restaurant which is closed today because it is a Monday. At least there was a small grocer where I bought a slab of mediocre lasagne.

      I was warned that tomorrow’s village doesn’t have any shops so I have bought a tin of Ravioli to carry all day and then at least I will have some tea.

      I nearly had company tonight. Apparently, a lady phoned this morning and booked but then phoned back later and cancelled. There appears to only be one bedroom which has a double bed and a camp bed. My hostess said that I have to use the camp bed because I am only paying a pilgrim rate. So, was this lady going to be using the double bed? Seems very chummy to me. Maybe she had second thoughts about it also. But really is it that much different than a mixed dormitory and they are not unusual?
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    • Day 2


      September 8, 2020 in France ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

      Meine erste Nacht auf dieser Reise war geprägt vom Schnarchen meiner Mitbewohner und einer sehr stickigen Luft im obersten Bett des Sechs-Personen-Zimmers. Als ich um 7:30 Uhr aufstehe, sind alle anderen schon weg oder dabei abzuhauen.

      Nachdem ich um 8 Uhr das Haus verlasse, hole ich mir kurz etwas zu Essen beim nächsten Carrefour (zwei Schinkensandwiches und ein Trinkjoghurt) und mache einen Abstecher bei der Kathedrale Notre-Dame de Reims, die ziemlich beeindruckend aber auch ziemlich geschlossen ist.

      Von hier aus mache ich mich wegen meines unerholsamen Schlafs auf in das "nur" 19 Kilometer entfernte Verzy.
      Der Weg besteht die ersten 5 Kilometer allein daraus, aus Reims rauszukommen, und unterwegs entdecke ich einen Pflasterstein, der das erste mal anzeigt, was ich hier überhaupt mache: Ich pilgere auf der "via francigena".

      Etwas später hole ich mir noch etwas bei Burger King (jaja, ich weiß) und mache pünktlich um 12 Mittagspause im Schatten am Wegrand.

      Als ich weiterlaufe dauert es nicht lange und ich bin vollständig von Weinfeldern namhafter Weinhersteller umgeben. Auf der Spitze eines Hügels passiere ich eine Mühle, die zwar auch sehr schön ist, der aber der Ausblick auf die umliegenden Dörfer die Show stielt. Ich sehe Verzenay, das ich 20 Minuten später durchkreuze, und gleichzeitig weit weg die Spitzen der hohen Gebäude Reims.

      In Verzenay mache ich wieder kurz eine Pause, bevor ich die letzten 2,5 Kilometer nach Verzy laufe. Hier macht sich der Pilgerpass bezahlt, denn ich übernachte mit einem 30 Euro Rabatt in einem gemütlichen familären Gasthof, in dem ich deutlich besser werde schlafen können als letzte Nacht.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Verzy, Верзі, 韦尔齐

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