Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Day 4: Farther than the Day is Long

Brisk is a useful applicable word for the weather, very nice for walking.  I´ve only managed a measly 117 km since walking out of Estonian`s capital Sunday afternoon - the days are short and the nights particularly dark.  There`s a cute and logical obligation here that everyone who ventures out in the darkness must dangle a reflective badge at the level of the right knee so they can be seen by drivers.  Kind folks have given me a handful, including one shaped like an angel.  The sky brightens to a gray drab around 8:30 and dims into the drab clouds around 3.  Time enough to scurry along... through the countryside blanketed beneath a thin coverlet of lumpy snow, packed powder on the sides of the icy pavement and on the bike trails near the larger towns,..  I`m enjoying the discovery of another culture.

The young Italian priest at the Catholic Cathedral in Helsinki was surprised but accommodating in signing and stamping my credenziale and offered the parish hall for me to sleep.  We shared dinner with Italian missionaries who largely serve a foreign congregation.  When I shared my intention of simply asking the ferry company for passage across the Gulf of Finland to Estonia, the priest gave me the fare to save me the effort of finding someone to ask.

In Tallinn, the Italian missionary priest at the Catholic Cathedral there similarly accommodated the request for a stamp in my credenziale and a place to sleep - in the crypt beneath the old church of Sts Peter and Paul - but could offer little in terms of negotiating my way through the country on foot.  With a wish of good luck and a hearty slap on the back, I was sent off.  How does it work for a pilgrim in the countryside of Estonia?  As in most places with a noticable dearth of churches, the municipal office is the place to seek advice.  No problems - there`s always a place for a pilgrim to comfortably stay - hot shower, mattrass, heat, food... everything else is luxury.


Michèle Dextras & Jean-Claude Barre said...

There you go again! I wish you luck and hope you continue to meet kind and generous people!

Joanne Sandoval said...

Hi, Ann! Another prayer request: Antoinette Vega Praying for a safe journey for you. Please pray for my husband, brother, son and mother.
Blessings from Annabelle and me, too!