Monday, 12 August 2013

Via Jacobi (August 13, 2013) - Day 13 Fribourg to Billens

Another long but very peaceful walking day...8:30 hours. In looking at the entire planned trip yesterday and today represented the 4th longest back to back distance days...planned was 66 kms (sure I likely did closer to 75 or so!). The highest back to back planned days is later in the trip at 71 that is encouraging!

Before I get into the day....BONNE FETE MAM (mother) 90 ans! Pauline and Marc...svp donne Mam un bec et une embrassade! Mam is a very special person...always looking for what you have done right and supporting as such. I have been so lucky to have had Mam...while she is no longer able to communicate due to illness we know you are still thinking of your family and loving them.

Today was a nice sunny day in the low 20's...perfect for walking. Essentially nothing significant happened today...did not get lost (ok...almost), no dangerous animals, peaceful scenery and no outstanding people encounters. Just a nice walk.

A few pictures of Fribourg as I was leaving...I would really like to come back here as a tourist and just look around! So much history...



Last night Beatrice explained to me that there was a way to rejoin the Chemin St. Jacques without going back the 20 minutes to where I had left the trail. Go up these stairs, turn left on this road, another flight of stairs by a pink house...walk toward the train station and go to information if you don't see the signs.

NO WAY after yesterday's fun...straight back to where I started for this boy today! I did leave Beatrice a handful of Canadian lapel pins...her place was great!

Dawn here is a Citroen that I came across...sort of like the cars your Dad had...well not quite!


Swiss  gates

I was thinking about the many and varied gates that I have passed through in my Switzerland much creativity in the are a few.

After walking for 5 hours...essentially non stop...and having eaten a handful of trail mixture and drinking water, I was ready for a break. It came in a small village Autigny where I stopped in at a magasin. YES that's French! All day today I have been hearing people talk French, greeting me with bonjour. What a difference it has made...I can now read, understand and have a conversation.

Today's lunch

Lunch was incredibly good...tuna on a French mini baguette, nectarine, apple drink and a lemon tart with a strong lemon flavour!

After lunch I still had 3+ hours so I got moving I neared Romont I was really taken by the views and the town itself.

Romont is a medieval walled city with ramparts and known for it's stained glass work. Having done some stained glass I was interested in looking around a bit!

While not stained glass this was cool

My B&B is located in Billens...just outside of I neared the town I took out my iPad and was looking for the information. An elderly gentlemen was ambling by and I asked him where the house was located. He couldn't hear too well so I zoomed in on the iPad address. He told me that the street was just ahead...I thanked him and gave him a Canadian lapel pin...he seemed pleased.

It was a few minutes before I got my gear together again and hoisted the backpack. As I started walking I noticed the gentlemen waiting just ahead at a street corner...sure enough he was waiting for me and when I arrived he pointed out where I needed to go. He was also interested in knowing where in Canada I was from and about my journey. That was good!

Marie-Therese had two of her five grandchildren who are staying the night...left 10 or Canadian lapel pins for the family.

Future Pilgrims

I would have liked to stay in Romont to visit a bit however could not find reasonably priced accommodations (sister's convent is closed for renovations).

My B&B however is once again second to none...Marie-Therese Sugnault in Billens - 25 Rte de Billens.

Had a great supper and expect breakfast will be the same in the morning...35 Swiss francs only!


  1. Guy,

    I've been enjoying the rhythm of your journey immensely. The immersion you are experiencing is why I also travel...I love to kill-off my own stereotypes of people and places.

    Robyn and I also carry Canadian pins on our motorcycle adventures and dispense them with equal joy. Weight on a motorcycle is never a real factor (volume is key).

    I have started to wonder how many pins you have (in Kgs)? You seem to be dispensing them by the handful at times and I wonder if the sheer weight of your diplomatic instruments will be a burden on a hot day.

    Enjoy the journey.

    1. Thanks Claudio,

      I started out with Canadian lapel pins weighing just over 300 very manageable. The trick will be to ensure I hand them out before LePuy en Velay which is about 3 weeks away because I have a reapply waiting for me there! If it turns out there are too many I will leave a numer of them behind at the right time and location.

  2. Allo Guy! I will write this in French as it is about our Mam! J'ai ete voir Mam avec Renee & Julien aujourd'hui. Qu'elle belle visite. Mam a dit 'alllllo' - Julien le jure. J'etais partis rinser son verre. Renee la aussi entendue. Beaucoups de sourires pour nous aujourd'hui. Alors - oui Bonne Fete Maman!!!! Je sais qu'elle t'envoie des embrassades Guy. BON COURAGE. I love hearing about ALL of your stories. Pauline

    1. Pauliine,

      J'apprĂ©cie les nouvelles...Mam peut ĂȘtre si "cute".