Walking. Again. Yep – It’s happening. I’m going to walk the European Peace Walk.
It may be indulgent, true. Affording the luxury of walking uninterrupted for sixteen days is something not many think about, let alone crave.
After completing the Camino del Norte & Camino Primitivo in 2017, coming back to ‘everyday’ life was considerably harder than I expected. I physically needed to keep walking. In hindsight, starting a new (office) job the following day after returning from an ambulated 922km journey was not my most rational decision.
This May, I’m off again. But this time, it’s not a camino. I’m committed to walk the European Peace Walk.
I’ll be joined by other walkers from Canada, U.SA, Australia, Italy, Ireland, Singapore and more to cover the ground.
So, what is the EPW?
The concept is wholeheartedly focused on creating a peace path. Starting in Austria and traversing through Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Italy: on foot. The idea of crossing all borders in between is considered paramount to it’s core principles. It’s incredible to think that even in 1989, this would not have been possible when Europe was still heavily divided. Where once these borders were war torn are now at peace – so much so that you can walk from one country to the next without the blink of an eye. On one day alone, us Peacewalkers have breakfast in Hungary, lunch in Slovenia and sleep that night in Croatia!
Since it’s inception in 2014, the European Peace Walk is a community walk created by a group of adventurers eager to commemorate the centenary of WWI. The walk is intended to serve as a reminder that despite ongoing conflicts worldwide, the coming together of people from all nations is the obvious solution to an improved understanding of each other, no matter the origin.
EPW founder Grattan Lynch comments on the positive connection realised from walking the camino; where people from all over the world can eat, laugh and enjoy the experience because “100 years ago, they would have been killing each other.”
“The walk hopes to bring awareness about the importance of peace. The European Peace Walk is a time for people to share and celebrate their differences and have conversations about peace and creating a global community. “
Why am I walking the EPW?
I guess… honestly, its… to learn. So far, I have learned zilch about WWI (I do take complete responsibility for that). I’ve never really been to Europe and I truly adored the freedom that the camino brought me. Lastly, I’m in need of that peace today.
Sure, I can appreciate that walking 25+km/day for 18 continuous days could be seen as the worst possible European adventure – but honestly – to me it’s a gift.
The difference between the EPW and the camino (so I’ve read) is
Firstly: you need to register (so that there are only ever a maximum of ten people starting per day so accommodation isn’t crowded).
Secondly: the infrastructure is only set up for two starting blocks: May – June where you can start on any given day.
Thirdly: The accommodation is somewhat pre-booked and for the most part you have a group to walk with, although you are able to sit out a day or skip the walk if you prefer. The accommodation consists of hostels, community centers, mountain huts, etc.
Lastly: The walk is extremely affordable. You only need between 25 and 35 euros a day, to live and eat like a QUEEN!
Guess what! I did walk the EPW, you can read all about that and more about our round the world trip here.