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You Are Here: Updates > And Now, At Last, Finally, For Real… It’s Over

And Now, At Last, Finally, For Real… It’s Over

Yes­ter­day was our very last engage­ment related to the pil­grim­age! Andrew spoke at the Uni­ver­sity of Hei­del­berg as part of a lec­ture series on “Sus­tain­able Mobil­ity in the 21st Cen­tury.” Most of the lec­tures were highly tech­ni­cal on mechan­i­cal means of trans­port, but his was the lone voice in favor of that most sus­tain­able of all forms of trans­porta­tion: walking.

The thing is, as we both real­ized in the course of our 1000 miles through Europe, even walk­ing requires infra­struc­ture, and now more than ever when the built world is designed for wheels and engines. Ger­mans are great walk­ers, but they also have taken the time and money to put in place attrac­tive and safe places to walk. Ital­ians are known to adore their auto­mo­biles, but it would be hard to be a dis­senter there and live—we can’t even count the num­ber of times we saw side­walks just end abruptly, usu­ally for no appar­ent rea­son (though some­times because it was at the bor­der between two towns).

Yet even in places where walk­ing is cul­ti­vated as a desir­able activ­ity, the infra­struc­ture is designed for walk­ing as leisure and sport, not walk­ing as trans­porta­tion. That’s why we couldn’t get through the Alps and Appen­nines in the amount of time we’d bud­geted: the walk­ing routes there, though they existed, were mean­der­ing for the sake of the scenery and didn’t shy away from climb­ing great heights. We did enjoy the scenery, and in prin­ci­ple wouldn’t mind the heights. But it was pretty clear that you didn’t walk those paths to get any­where. Walk­ing as trans­porta­tion is just not a real­is­tic option any­more. Our many Amer­i­can read­ers will undoubt­edly rec­og­nize this sit­u­a­tion on an even larger scale in our homeland!

Any­way, we have come to the end, we’re back home in Stras­bourg, and we’re try­ing to fig­ure out how to live sta­tion­ary again. We’re brain­storm­ing about con­tin­u­ing to post on this site about all things ecu­meni­cal, so please check back from time to time and see what we’ve got on offer. And if you haven’t yet, please take a look at the 2011 cal­en­dar we’ve put together with Andrew’s pho­tos: great Christ­mas gifts!

And finally, thanks for all the time you’ve given to fol­low our jour­ney. You def­i­nitely made the whole thing worthwhile!

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One Response to And Now, At Last, Finally, For Real… It’s Over

    Barbara Catlin says:

    I aborted my con­nec­tion a few sec­onds ago as I was fin­ish­ing up my com­ments to you both. I merely wanted to wish you a blessed Christ­mas and a healthy, pros­per­ous New Year 2011. Holy ned, but that makes me feel old and I am already a Mar­ion Col­lege antique!

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