Voie de Vézelay, Day 25



 This day was a day of walking through meadows, forests and fields. Quiet lakes were scattered in between with trees being reflected on the surface. It was great just to walk.














In front of a cherry tree, the owner of the house placed a chair for the hikers with the invitation to use it for rest.






Hikers, you have earned a rest
Hikers, you have earned a rest



Around noon, I arrived in the charming little town, Châlus, where the English king Richard Lionheart died during a battle over the castle in 1199. This was a big surprise for me. Not only was I following the footsteps of Richard Lionheart by starting my pilgrimage in Vezelay, but also, an Austrian Duke captured Richard Lionheart when he passed Vienna and put him into prison in the castle of Dürnstein, near where I am from.   There was a connection between the past and the present.



Town of Châlus with the road up to the castle
Town of Châlus with the road up to the castle


When I walked up to the castle, its big entrance door was locked. I did not see any way to visit the place. Suddenly, a girl came with a key. She was the tour guide of the castle and opened the place for the first time in the season. Her name was Charlotte and she gave me a tour.



Charlotte opening the door
Charlotte opening the door



Former castle of Châlus
Former castle of Châlus


After King Lionheart’s death – as it was common practice for the aristocracy during the Middle Ages – his body was divided up. His entrails were buried in the castle of Châlus, his embalmed heart in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Rouen, and the rest of his body was buried in the Fontevraud Abbey beside his father.



On the ground to the right of the walk way, The lying statue of Richard Lionheart.
On the ground to the right of the walk way, The lying statue of Richard Lionheart.




After I left the town, my mind was occupied with the story of Richard Lionheart and the chain of events, which lead to his early death. At one point on the Way, I had to decide if I wanted to ignore the local signs of forbidding me to enter a clearly marked way of the pilgrimage or not. It was very confusing. I decided to follow the shell – and really got lost. It was an old sign nobody had removed. At the end, I reached the common Way again, but with a big detour. It was nice that Eddy and Rohan called to find out where I was. I arrived in La Coquille in late afternoon. La Coquille means shell in French.



The blocked Way I ignored.
The blocked Way I ignored.



Born and raised in a village along the Danube in Austria, Traude Wild soon ventured out into the world. After a two-year program for tourism in Klesheim/Salzburg, she spent nearly a year in South Africa and Namibia. By returning back to Austria, she acquired a Master of Economics at the University of Vienna. After moving to the United States with her four children, she studied Art History at Arizona State University and stayed in the United States for fourteen years. Here, she was teaching Art History in several Universities like Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Now, she lives partially in Arizona and Vienna and works together with her husband for the University of South-Carolina, Moore School of business as Adjunct Professor organising and leading Study tours in Central Europe. She also teaches at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Since 1999, she is practicing Zen meditation in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She loves to hike and to write and is a student of Natalie Goldberg. During her often many weeks long hikes she brings her awareness into the Here and Now, describing her experiences in an authentic way. She loves to walk pilgrimages. The longest hike so far was the 1,400 km long 88 Temple pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan in 2016.

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