Since starting 3 Days In London, I have explored and researched, digging through London’s history for her hidden secrets. It has been a great journey so far and during my endeavours and my London walkabouts I have uncovered and discovered some amazing facts and places. I am learning stuff I never knew and it is all fascinating. London is like an onion, as you peel each layer away, so another becomes exposed. My head is full of facts, and figures and photos and places. It is the best fun I have had and I am delighting in all that I find.
One of the things I discovered whilst doing one of my London walkabouts, is the ancient George Inn in Southwark. Chaucer is mentioned as having frequented the Tabard Inn (demolished in the 19th century), an Inn similar to The George Inn during his lifetime in the 14th Century and certainly at the beginning of, what I have now discovered, was his spiritual journey on the Pilgrims Route to Canterbury.
The Camino is a world-famous pilgrimage and Geoffrey Chaucer travelled from London to Canterbury via this ancient route, and subsequently wrote: The Canterbury Tales. This has intrigued me no end and I will now have to investigate further . My education continues.
I wanted to do the Camino last year with my Dad and my daughter, but circumstances did not allow. The Camino de Santiago pilgrims route/s of which there are many, start from a great many places in the world and all end at Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. Whilst doing research for the trip last year I discovered that there is a route that starts in….yes!!!! London!!!! hooray! I only just recently discovered that in fact Geoffrey Chaucer also, as mentioned before, followed a pilgrims route to Canterbury. I am not sure if his intention was to go to Spain but he certainly wanted to get to Canterbury Cathedral. Because of Chaucer, the road from London to Canterbury is by far the most famous pilgrimage route in Britain.
So, here’s the thing…..I still want to do the ‘Camino’ for all sorts of reasons, and my daughter also wants to do it. However, since this is my London/UK year I have no real plans (yet) to go overseas till 2012. But, I do want to start the journey, so it is my plan to start this tomorrow……..Saturday 12th February! ah ha! you might say and what will you be doing? Well tomorrow I will be venturing into Southwark to start my journey by eating a late meal at the George Inn, much as I am sure Chaucer would have done before he set out. I will be walking the streets of Southwark and taking photos of places in the area that may well have been there during his lifetime (like the Inn), having a meal at the Inn and then very early the next day (Sunday 13th) I will venture into Southwark once again and follow the route he followed for the first part of his journey to Canterbury, the details of which I discovered on the web His first stop was Deptford and his second stop on the route was Greenwich.
So I will make my way to Greenwich and assuming I actually get that far…..explore the area for the day, perhaps sleep over at an ‘Inn’ aka a B&B and then make my way back home on Monday morning. I have been wanting to explore Greenwich again anyway to gather material for my blogs, so this will be a golden opportunity to ‘kill two birds with one stone’ or not! Perhaps instead of killing birds I will just take photos!
Then it is my plan to take a couple of days each month and pick up where I left off the last time and walk the whole route till I eventually reach Canterbury. This may take a while! But, I reckon that once I have reached Canterbury it should be almost the end of the year and I will be well ready to plan the next stage of the journey and venture overseas to Portugal or Spain to follow one of the many routes there. And I will of course document my journeys on my blog!