Hola amigos, are you ready for another Camino? I couldn’t resist one more walk in Portugal, this time starting in Porto and the Coastal Route.
First New York City, then some cities and towns I want to explore in Spain and Portugal. Maybe a chance to sleep off JetLag before I start a long distance slow walk.
New York is the perfect training ground for my next Camino. Fairly flat, lots of hard surface, Coastal walkways. And even more stairs than you can imagine, if you’re in the subway or staying in a fourth floor walkup. What a way to stay in shape. Quite amazing, too, that the best cities have expansive parks, nature areas and walking, running and biking trails and lanes, sidewalks and playgrounds, picnic and meeting spots and more. Central Park in NYC and Prospect Park in Brooklyn are my favorites. For many residents who live in high rises or apartments, parks are their back yards.
Walking in Brooklyn and New York is freedom! I have wings and an unlimited landscape to explore.
My friends and family live in brownstones, high rises and cluster homes, that all have one thing in common: super high Walkability scores. That means safe and convenient walking with most errands within walking distance, public transportation nearby and less worry about altercations with traffic! Walkability is a topic for a future post.
Earlier in the week I rode the subway with my grandson from Brooklyn to foggy and misty Manhattan to drop him off at school. That left several hours for my special outing: 20 Kms total of city walking that included a few kilometers on the Hudson River Parkway to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal for a free ride to Staten Island and back. And I had time along the way to visit the September 11 Memorial, Liberty Park, Battery Park and see the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island from the ferry and the fog.
I walked this walk before and visited the Statue of Liberty Park area and Ellis island on a sunny summer day, more than 10 years ago. Lady Liberty was closed for renovations, so we wandered around the grounds. Ellis Island was open and welcomed us; maybe my grandparents stepped on this soil in 1909.
This New Yorker cover needs no explanation.
The Statue of Liberty has long been an icon of freedom, a symbol of America’s welcoming of immigrants to this land. Seeing this Statue shrouded in fog seemed a metaphor for today’s political climate and controversy on immigration and refugees worldwide.
After returning to the terminal, I walked back, stopping again along the way to see New York through the eyes of a visitor, even though I once lived here.
A symphony of languages and people from every country make up the best of New York, the promise of The Statue of Liberty.
Today a warm, humid and sunny day and a speed walk (no backpack) in Manhattan from Washington Square to 86th Street, on Broadway Through Times Square and back, and a full day of one last look at the city. I logged in about 18 km total for the day.
Monument at Stonewall
Central Park, Museum of Natural History, and a “Famous” Tower down the street from The Ethical Cultural School. Really.
Thank you, NYC, for helping me prepare for another Camino. Every day in New York is new. And so it is on the Way. First stop after Madrid will be Salamanca, where many pilgrims walk on to the Camino Via de La Plata, about 1,000 km. starting in the Southern Spain city of Seville. The Camino is everywhere! I’m thinking of taking the train from Salamanca, with stops along the Way to Porto and the Coast of Portugal.
And now I’m off: NYC to Madrid Barajas Aeropuerto and Estación de Tren Chamartín. That’s if all goes as “planned.” Travel and Caminos: always be ready for changes and surprises.
Buen Camino, Amigos. 👣 Irene