Being a blogger - even if not extraordinaire - gets you into so interesting gigs! And in that case, being French was definitely a bonus. Dee Nolan made her name when she first published "A Food Lover's Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela". This time, she goes further north to Cluny and its monks to give us " A food Lover's Pilgrimage to France.
I have been quite interested in recent years by El Camino and its followers. I even befriended a charming Belgian lady on Facebook whose whole purpose in life - besides taking on her family between trips - seems to be rediscovering parts of these ancient pilgrim routes as far north as her native country. Dee Nolan in her new book starts somehow much more South, at the Abbaye de Cluny, which was the engine room of these pilgrimages in the Middle Ages. If you think that this book is a recipes book, it is not, although there are like twenty of them sprinkled throughout the book. If you think this is about the Camino, well yes it is, but in many ways i think it is more a travel book with stunning photographs by travelling companion Earl Carter, who regals us with dramatic shots of locations, people and food. El Camino is there in filigree, if you know the history and the geography of it and the book will give you these snapshots of life on the trail that Nolan and Carter document for us with their respective crafts. You probably need to buy the two books to get a real sense of the pilgrimage, its beautiful settings, the sory of the people who live along it, some almost the same way they did when it all started and the food which is certainly the tradition best kept alive across the centuries.
If you read french - and if you don't Alliance Francaise organises very good courses - then you can also check the blog of Pierre Alglave which is a treasure trove of information on the pilgrimage on foot. Pierre is also a very talented photographer, or if you want a lighter approach from a deeply Christian person then follow Sylvie Francotte who explores all the different routes from Belgium to Santiago on www.radiocamino.net.
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.
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