My friend Erika arrived yesterday from Stockholm. Already back in March when we saw each other last, we made plans for her visit here this July: We wanted to walk a part of the Pilgrimsleden (The Pilgrim Trail), around Hornborgasjön.
We chose a 25k (normally 2-day) part, the walk from Varnhem towards Gudhem, but planned to stop half way at the Fågeludden café (nr 5 on the map):
It was such lovely weather today though, and the route was so enjoyable - through different kinds of woods, along streams, on the road a bit, through endless pastures with cows and horses grazing, on and off rolling hills, beside the Lake Hornborga... just all so beautiful! We ended up walking about 20k all in all, and enjoyed every minute of it! (Apart from the part where we got chased by a big, moo-ing herd of cows! I got a bit scared there for a minute and started to look for a tree to climb..!)
The Pilgrim Trails will take you through waste parts of Västergötland. During the summer, there are organized walks with leaders, but mostly people choose one or more parts of the route they would like to walk. A lot of the route go through "Arn-land", famous for those of you that might have read the books (or seen the movies) by Guillou, about the medieval temple knight Arn.
Fantastic surroundings for a hike, absolutely fantastic.
We learned today that the seven key words for pilgrims are:
Slowness, which leads us to slow down in life.
Freedom, to live without big demands and just focus on the essentials.
Simplicity, that becomes obvious when you only have what you can carry.
Light-heartedness to take each day as it comes, one step at a time.
Silence, that gives peace.
Sharing, which builds a community spirit.
Spirituality, sought in discussions and encounters along the way.
Obviously Erika and I were more about the sharing and less about the silence along the way..!