See you in Cebreiro

Every year at September 8 around 30 000 people gather on top of the mountain in the Galician village Pedrafita do Cebreiro.

Some turn up for religious reasons but most of the visitors come for la fiesta. Transportation varies, quite a few persons walk as it is along the pilgrim route Camino de Santiago, some people go by car or bicycle and others take the horse.

The village is situated at the border between Leon and Galicia. At the church Santa Maria la Real you supposedly will find  the Holy Grail.. there where some people also commenting about a visit by the Virgin herself some time ago. Lots of saints and virgins passes by in these regions!!

This young girl

 was walking the pilgrim trail towards Santiago de Compostela in Spain. She is Peruvian and 87 years has passed since she was born.  We met her, half running and in good spirits with her daughter and grand-daughter some 110 kilometers before Santiago.  I´d like to be in that shape when I reach that age.


  Cebreiro in Galicia lies at an altitude of 1300 meters. 8-9 of September every year there is a catholic ceremony at the church in honor of the Virgin Mary.  The Gallegos gather from all over the region for the event. Some arrives for religious reasons but many takes it as an excuse to party.. and oh my, they know how to party!

We arrived after a tough climb of 30 kilometers to Cebreiro conveniently the 8 of September.

The walk is over for this time, back home now, but still got a bunch of pictures worth showing.

With a Billy Graham hairdo..


 and swinging the holy book in a dramatic fashion this street preacher tried to fire up the visitors at the commercial center “Nordstan” in Gothenburg yesterday!

His assistant was sitting quietly in the background with a sign “Jesus is alive”

Despite that the Billy look-alike refered to the tsunami in Japan, earthquakes and other plagues and somehow connected this as consequences of the lack of belief, he did not succeed to create a mass salvation amongst the busy shoppers!

Old church on the hill!

  It´s  a good idea to take a walk up the mountain above Dhermi and visit the remains of this old orthodox church. This is the place where you´ll find the largest number of churches per capita in Albania!

I have received different information about the percentage in the country of orthodox christians versus muslims etcetera. One source said 30% muslims 30% orthodox christians and 30% non believers.  The Albanians are discrete when it comes to manifest their beliefs in clothing or other symbols!

Give me a brake at Llogara!

It was a breathtaking moment when the small bus started to descend the steep Llogara mountain between Vlora and Saranda in the south Albanian coast. The serpentine road is one of the most dramatic I´ve sen, and I have crossed the Andes several times!

It became even more thrilling when my seat neighbor told me graphically with lots of details about a fatal accident a month ago not far from here. 13 passengers died!

A few minutes later when the typical smell of overheated brakes became evident in the “furgon” all passengers, muslims, catholics, orthodoxies and atheists looked at that rosary in the front window and made a silent prayer..

The driver, concentrated and increasingly pale managed somehow finally to stop the bus for a thirty minute cool down pause!

The Hindu temple in Victoria/Seychelles

 The Seychelles is indeed a cultural melting pot. It´s an African country with strong influences from Great Britain, France, India, China and other places.

Is Babalú Ayé listening?

  At December 16–17 every year, thousands of Cubans of various religious beliefs make a pilgrimage to San Lazaro at Rincon in Santiago de las Vegas, some 30 km from Havana. They come to show penitence and pray for health and make other wishes.
Many crawl kilometers on their knees dragging stones as an extra proof of their devotion.
Some of the pilgrims worship  the orisha  Babalú Ayé,  “Father of the World”  the Santeria version of, San Lazaro.
This religios phenomenon is not seen with benevolent eyes from the Cuban government.
Plain clothes security police are heavily present.

My Cuban friend was taken apart and searched in a humiliating manner for walking with to foreigners active with cameras!

The Cuban religious passion, both santeria and catholic is growing as the revolutionary
enthusiasm has been going down for some time now!