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Off the road : a modern-day walk down the Pilgrim's Route into Spain
Jack Hitt
Adult Nonfiction DP285.H58 1994

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From Publishers' Weekly:

When freelance journalist Hitt decided he needed a long walk, he had in mind the 500-mile trek from Saint-Jean Pied de Port, in France, to Santiago del Compostello, in Spain, one of the medieval routes of pilgrims to the shrine of St. James the Apostle. For this lapsed Episcopalian, his immersion in the history of Santiago meant not only a long walk to clear his head but adventure and an exotic setting for a travel book. The self-questioning Hitt found the road crowded with other pilgrims with different agendas. In a pale, somewhat self-conscious version of a Canterbury Tale, he sketches them deftly as they straggle along, silhouetting them and himself against medieval pilgrims and dipping into church history and architecture, love and the stories of Saint James. This offbeat travelogue describes a still-living tradition of pilgrimage and a culture of the road both delightful and informative. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

For centuries the Spanish town of Santiago de Compostela has been a magnet for millions of the faithful throughout Christendom. This shrined city, devoted to the marytred apostle St. James, is traditionally reached on foot by peregrinos (pilgrims) who hike hundreds of miles to receive blessings. Hitt, a contributing editor to Harper's and Lingua Franca, spent weeks walking this path, where Charlemagne, the Cid, Pope John XXIII, and countless others have tread since the ninth century. The author endured grueling weeks of rugged countryside, scorching weather, mangy dogs, and eccentric hostelers to write an irreverently amusing and colorful adventure. Most interesting are the assortment of characters he meets along the way, each of which could be drawn from Chaucer. Beyond his personal experiences, Hitt offers fascinating historical background on church architecture, the Crusades, and the Knights Templar, which makes this travelog a terrific complement to travel and Spanish and European cultural collections.-David Nudo, ``Library Journal" (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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