Author Archives: msraaka

About msraaka

I am an artist, writer and desktop publishing consultant living in the Pacific Northwest. After our first visit to Italy, my husband Bob and I have found ways to spend more and more time there and other countries in Europe. We love to travel, but especially to stay in one area and get a better sense of place. I love learning languages, so I continue to study Italian, French and Spanish so I can communicate a bit more with the locals. Even learning the basic greetings can make a big difference.

Last Day on the Camino

The last day of our camino came too quickly. Still in Northern Spain, we had a lovely walk from Torres del Rio to Logroño, about 23k or 13.9 miles.  Once again, we had wonderful scenery, a well groomed trail with … Continue reading

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Challenges on the Camino

Buena Vista The Camino is full of beauty, but there are several challenges, too. The biggest challenge—one that we didn’t have to face, is walking daily for around 40 days. I can’t tell you how that feels because we chose … Continue reading

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On Our Way Again

After a nice rest in Pamplona, we were happy to get back on the trail. It didn’t take long to get out of the city and back onto another scenic trail. With the improved weather, we were now able to … Continue reading

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Pausing in Pamplona

For an easier itinerary, we chose to stay two nights in Pamplona, which was good planning. Not only did I need more rest to kick my cold, it was also time to get some laundry done. The city has plenty … Continue reading

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Walking the Camino-Part Two

El Camino We had a bit of rain and wind during the first few days of our Camino. Once we dropped down into Roncesvalles, the weather improved. However, I wasn’t able to shake the cold I caught on the first … Continue reading

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Walking the Camino—Part One

There are two main routes leading from St. Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles, the popular first day’s walk. Because of rain and overcast weather, we chose the easier route that goes by Valcarlos—a lovely town with several good accommodation … Continue reading

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Walking the Camino—An Introduction

There are many ways to walk the Camino de Santiago, the famous path of St. James  that ends in the beautiful city of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. For our first experience, we chose the Camino Francés, which starts in … Continue reading

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What I like about Rome

We’ve been to Rome several times and we keep coming back. What makes Rome so special? It’s hard to put into words, but I’ll give it a try. Beautiful Ruins Everyone knows that Rome has plenty of famous ruins such … Continue reading

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Convent Stays in Italy

Whether you are traveling in the countryside or want to explore a great city like Rome, Italy offers a comfortable and economic option for accommodations — a convent or monastery stay. Thanks to its Catholic heritage, Italy has an abundance … Continue reading

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Return to Rome

Almost everyone who visits Italy for the first time includes Rome in their itinerary. We give ourselves three or four days to see the most important sights and we leave the city exhausted and overwhelmed by all of the history … Continue reading

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