“I've thought about our trip so many times in the last months and am so grateful for the experience! Truly unforgettable!”
“The Camino is one of my fondest memories of 2012, and really my life - many lessons learned, much perspective regained.”
“I think it's so neat that 2012 Camino memories will be stories that we share with others for the rest of our lives! I once walked the Camino de Santiago...
"The Camino was the perfect trip for my first time across the pond; half intimate tour with incredible, knowledgeable hosts, and half communing with nature in a relaxing hike through bucolic Galicia, Spain."
“Fabulous hosts, wonderful company, fantastic food and drink, and a lovely hiking journey – this is a trip I definitely wouldn’t have thought about taking without the Luther alumni trip banner – and it’s now a cherished experience.”
Letter from Kathy Ausen '71
Wow! What a wonderful trip we had in Portugal and Spain! I believe we took the first trip of this type attempted by a Luther group; may I suggest it should not be the last!
I love to travel and have done a fair amount of vacationing in Europe. Never have I anticipated a trip so much or been so sorry to see it end. The unique blend of sightseeing followed by a physically difficult, but spiritually rewarding, journey was a powerful combination.
We have all had the experience of bonding with others during a difficult task. The Camino experience creates even stronger connections than usual, and, it seems to me, represents many of the values embodied in the mission of Luther. We on the Camino were certainly presented with "a way of learning that moves us beyond immediate interests and present knowledge into a larger world—an education that disciplines minds and develops whole persons equipped to understand and confront a changing society". The pull of the Camino is like no other and cannot be described - only experienced.
Though the itinerary was wonderful, it could not have been as rich without the leadership of Peter and Luisa. They were truly the perfect advisers. Beyond the obvious advantage of a guide who speaks Portuguese, they understood the value in balancing individual needs with the good of the group. When serendipitous events presented themselves, the Forsgrens took advantage of the situation. Although not included on the original plan, I heard indigenous Portuguese Fado music, a Tuna concert, and a wonderful outdoor symphony concert at the site of a 12th century cathedral. I walked in a procession on the Feast Day of St. Carmen from a village church to the sea where prayers were offered for a good catch. I attended the Pilgrim's Mass at Santiago Cathedral with hundreds of other tired pilgrims and viewed the largest incense burner in the world. (Google "largest incense burner in the world" and watch the YouTube video. You'll be amazed!)
Peter and Luisa's physical abilities allowed them to set a pace for the fastest in the group while supporting those who needed to walk more slowly. Their ability to relate to each member of the group allowed a camaraderie to develop which cemented the resolve of every member of the group to finish all 115 kilometers of our Camino. This is truly an amazing feat!
Thank you for your part in organizing the trip. I have now (partially) checked off one more item on my bucket list, and I owe it all to you, Peter and Luisa. Wonderfully enchanting history, fresh, delicious food, the camaraderie of great people supporting one another in a magically spiritual and physically demanding event; the chance to build relationships with people from age 26 to 82, the thrill of challenging oneself and succeeding: it doesn't get better than that!