Part adventure story, part cultural history, this “enjoyably offbeat travelogue” explores the phenomenon of the spiritual pilgrimage (Booklist). Driven by curiosity, wanderlust, and health crises, David Downie and his wife set out from Paris to walk across France to the Pyrenees. Starting on the Rue Saint-Jacques, then trekking 750 miles south to Roncesvalles, Spain, their eccentric route takes 72 days on Roman roads and pilgrimage paths—a 1,100-year-old network of trails leading to the sanctuary of Saint James the Greater. It is best known as El Camino de Santiago de Compostela—“The Way” for short. The object of any pilgrimage is an inward journey manifested in a long, reflective walk. For Downie, the inward journey met the outer one: a combination of self-discovery and physical regeneration. More than 200,000 pilgrims take the highly commercialized Spanish route annually, but few cross France. Downie had a goal: to go from Paris to the Pyrenees on age-old trails, making the pilgrimage in his own maverick way.
Pardon My French is Sally's travel journal as she samples the local food, stays in local places (both on and off the beaten track), struggles with the language, discovers history and mysteries, and, of course, collects recipes en route.
“This memoir documents the fate of German expatriates, Jews, antifascists and socialists before and immediately following France’s defeat in World War II. Escape Through the Pyrenees is set in a concentration camp called Gurs and in the various border checkpoints in southern France, along the coast and in the Pyrenees. Fascism is shown not to be a monopoly of any people. If the Germans excelled at it, Lisa Fittko shows, many French officials occasionally outdid them. Against a backdrop of chaos as refugees flee the Gestapo, the gap between law and any true code of honor becomes glaringly evident. Ms. Fittko and her husband, Hans, were socialists, and their commitment to sharing impelled them to risk their lives to lead refugees, including the critic Walter Benjamin, over the Pyrenees to Spain. The author takes delight in describing the people she met — the 70-year-old female hobo, for example, whom Ms. Fittko encountered in the death ward of a French hospital and who read Baudelaire and sang the Marseillaise at the top of her voice. This woman was a rebel not against fascism but against institutionalization of any sort. It is in portraits like this that Escape Through the Pyrenees, well translated from the German by David Koblick, transcends the documentary formula and captures the poetry of human character.” — Freema Gottlieb, The New York Times “[A] worthy account of French wartime cowardice and xenophobia and of the brave souls who defied officialdom.” — Publishers Weekly “Lisa Fittko had no room for self-pity. Their campaigns against terror were pure struggles; [her] accounts, even allowing for the retouching of memory, are pure too.” — Smithsonian “[T]his memoir [...] is unique in the literature of the resistance... the book truly reads as a suspense novel... The author made a valuable contribution to the literature of the persecuted in World War II.” — Vera Laska, International Journal on World Peace “[T]he story of a little-known dimension of the fight against Hitler.” — Shofar “[A] gripping book.” — Alfred G. Frei, The Journal of Modern History
This book is an account of two dimension of state and nation building in France and Spain since the seventeenth century--the invention of a national boundary line and the making of Frenchmen and Spaniards. It is also a history of Catalan rural society in the Cerdanya, a valley in the eastern Pyrenees divided between Spain and France in 1659. This study shuttles between two levels, between the center and the periphery. It connects the "macroscopic" political and diplomatic history of France and Spain, from the Old Regime monarchies to the national territorial states of the later nineteenth century; and the "molecular" history--the historical ethnography--of Catalan village communities, rural nobles, and peasants in the borderland. On the frontier, these two histories come together, and they can be told as one.
Savour the delights of rural France far from the autoroutes and the TGV. This book reveals a wealth of trails linking nature's tranquil oases, pastoral villages and epicurean pleasures -- all at walking pace. -- the most renowned and scenic walks in 13 regions, including the GR20 Corsican trail -- a range of picturesque day walks within easy distance of Paris -- information on architecture, restaurants and vineyards along the trails -- easy-to-follow walk descriptions with accurate contour maps -- practical advice on local customs, language, equipment and travel -- illustrated section on flora and fauna
The Pyrenees stand up as a natural wall of demarcation between two nations, the French and the Spaniards, just as the mountains of Dauphiné sever the French from the Italians. It has been remarked that these natural barriers are thrown up to part Romance-speaking peoples, whereas the mountain ranges sink to comparative insignificance between the French and the Germans. Over the Jura the French tongue has flowed up the Rhone to Sierre, above the Lake of Geneva, so the Spanish or Catalan has overleaped the Pyrenees in Roussillon, and the Basque tongue has those who speak it in both cis-Pyrenean and trans-Pyrenean Navarre. The Pyrenees are the upcurled lips of the huge limestone sea-bed, that at some vastly remote period was snapped from east to west, and through the fissure thus formed the granite was thrust, lifting along with it the sedimentary rocks. Consequently the Pyrenees consist of from two to three parallel chains. The central and loftiest is that of granite, but where loftiest is hidden on the north side by the upturned reef of limestone. On the south the calcareous bed is lifted in great slabs, but split, and does not form so ragged and so lofty a range. The Pyrenees start steeply out of the Mediterranean, which at a distance of five-and-twenty miles from Cape Creuse, has a depth of over 500 fathoms, and there the limestone flares white and bald in the line of the Albères. But to the west the chain does not drop abruptly into the Atlantic, but trails away for 300 miles, forming the Asturian mountains, and then, curving south, serves to part Galicia from Leon. The range of the Pyrenees dividing France from Spain is 350 miles in length. The chain to the west wears a different aspect from that in the east. The Basque mountains are clothed with trees, pines and birch, walnut and chestnut, and above them are turf and heather. But the eastern extremity is white and barren. This is due to the fact that the Western Pyrenees catch and condense the vapours from the Atlantic, whereas the Oriental Pyrenees do not draw to them heavy and continuous rains. The boundary between the regions and climates is Mont Carlitte. In the Western Pyrenees the snow line lies far lower than in the east. On the former of these glaciers hang in wreaths, whereas there are none in the east. The contrast between the northern and southern slopes is even more marked than that between the extremities of the chain. On the French side are snow, ice, running streams, fertile vales, luxuriant meadows and forests, and valleys and hillsides that sparkle with villages smiling in prosperity. But on the southern slope the eye ranges over barren rocks, sun-baked, scanty pastures, and here and there at long intervals occur squalid clusters of stone hovels, scarce fit to shelter goats, yet serving as human habitations.
A vivid blend of history and travel and a sweeping story of collaboration and resistance, fear and heroism, pacifism and sacrifice all set against the backdrop of the Pyrenees. Over the fifteen years Rosemary has been living in the region, the more she realised she didn't know about the war; about the French during the Occupation, the real role of the Resistance, the level of collaboration, the concentration camps in the Pyrenees and the treatment of Jews and other refugees. It is still very much a veiled history and most of the archives remain firmly closed. LOVE AND WAR IN THE PYRENEES is a portrait of human tragedy, heroism and cruelty that will create a picture of the period from a contemporary angle, the history linked to sights that can still be visited, and brought to life by letters, interviews and encounters with people today, including the historians currently trying to investigate what really happened.
The Rough Guides Snapshot France: the Pyrenees is the ultimate travel guide to this mountainous region, and also includes coverage of the beguiling Basque country. It leads you through the region with reliable information and comprehensive coverage of all the sights and attractions, from surfing big waves in Biarritz and inspecting pre-historic paintings in the Ariège valley to taking a trip on the charming Petit Train Jaune and exploring dramatic Cathar castles in the Corbières. Detailed maps and up-to-date listings pinpoint the best cafés, restaurants, hotels, shops, bars and nightlife, ensuring you make the most of your trip, whether passing through, staying for the weekend or longer. The Rough Guides Snapshot France: the Pyrenees also covers Pau, Lourdes, the Vallée d'Aspe and Vallée d'Ossau, the Cirque de Gavarnie, the Comminges, the Val d'Ariège and Vallée de l'Aude, the Pays de Sault, Roussillon, Perpignan, the Côte Vermeille and the Vallée de Tech. Also included is the Basics section from the Rough Guide to France, with all the practical information you need for travelling in and around the country, including transport, food, drink, costs, health and festivals. Also published as part of the Rough Guide to France. The Rough Guides Snapshot France: the Pyrenees is equivalent to 84 printed pages.
The mountain paths are as treacherous as they are steep – the more so in the dark and in winter. Even for the fit the journey is a formidable challenge. Hundreds of those who climbed through the Pyrenees during the Second World War were malnourished and exhausted after weeks on the run hiding in barns and attics. Many never even reached the Spanish border. Today their bravery and endurance is commemorated each July by a trek along the Chemin de la Liberté – the toughest and most dangerous of wartime routes. From his fellow pilgrims Edward Stourton uncovers stories of midnight scrambles across rooftops and drops from speeding trains; burning Lancasters, doomed love affairs, horrific murder and astonishing heroism. The lives of the men, women and children who were drawn by the war to the Pyrenees often read as breathtakingly exciting adventure, but they were led against a background of intense fear, mounting persecution and appalling risk. Drawing on interviews with the few remaining survivors and the families of those who were there, Edward Stourton’s vivid history of this little-known aspect of the Second World War is shocking, dramatic and intensely moving.
Jean Matocq left his home in the Pyrenees for Paris at age sixteen. While studying the hotel business at the Paris hotel School, he worked as a busboy, assistant waiter, chef de rang, and sommelier. Jean came to the United States and made his way to San Francisco in 1958. He joined the staff at the legendary San Francisco restaurant Trader Vic's, where for twelve years he worked as a captain and maître d'. Striking out on his own, Jean Matocq owned restaurants and motels in Washington State, at
Blank Lined Travel Journals For True Adventurers What better way to create the ultimate travel guide then by recording your own experiences. Don't rely on someone else's opinion. This is a unguided blank travel journal. We just give you the lined pages so you can write down whatever you want. Use as many or as little pages as you want per trip. Buy a travel journal for each destination you go to. If you love it you know you will go back. It is a good idea to write down the following in your journal before each trip starts: Emergency Contacts Personal Info Things To Do Before You Go Packing List Flight and Hotel Info Itinerary Local Languages Phrases We made it in a nice compact 5" x 8" size so it fits nicely in a backpack or small pocket after a world traveler gave us feedback that 6" x 9" was just a bit big for the compact backpacks. This good looking travel journal is sure to capture the adventures you have in all your travels. It makes the perfect travel companion. Makes the perfect gift for friend or family member who loves to travel the world.
The most detailed single-volume guide to Europe's loveliest mountain range Veteran author Marc Dubin takes a fresh look at this unique mountain range, which unites the French, Spanish, and Andorran peaks and valleys. This guide has all the information you need whether you're out for serious up-country hiking (bears permitting), staying in one of the Pyrenean beach resorts, skiing on either side of the border, or touring the, tiny principality of Andorra.