For more than a millennium pilgrims have walked the Camino de Santiago, the "Way of Saint James," to the shrine of the Apostle at Santiago de Compostella in northwestern Spain. To this very day the pilgrims’ motives have been as varied as their personalities: religious devotion, wanderlust, flight from the law, the spirit of adventure, cultural tourism. Join Professor John V. Fleming *63, the Louis W. Fairchild '24 Professor of Literature and Comparative Literature, emeritus, and your fellow Princetonians, April 17-29, 2015, on a series of selective hikes along this most famous of Europe's walking trails.
En route, Princeton pilgrims can savor local cuisine, sample regional vintages, and stay in deluxe hotels and paradores — former castles, monasteries and other heritage buildings. Most days will offer the opportunity to walk a section of the trail. The gentle terrain and moderate distances make the itinerary accessible for nearly all hearty walkers, but vehicular support will also be available.
PLEASE NOTE: We do consider this program to be "Active," as it requires engaged participants to stand and walk for long periods over rough terrain, such as dirt roads, inclines, gravel paths or sand. Eight days of the program will include extended walking segments. The average distance covered is 3.5 miles per day, with one day's mileage being just under 5.5 miles. Princeton Journeys suggests that participants consult their physicians and undertake a pre-trip training regimen if they are not already accustomed to daily extended walking.
John Fleming *63, Louis W. Fairchild '24 Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Emeritus, Princeton University, will serve as Princeton Study Leader for this Journey.
Before his retirement in 2006, Professor Fleming taught medieval literature at Princeton for forty years. His many Princeton roles over the years included those of departmental chairman, college master, chief marshal, and Director of Freshman Seminars. A past president of the Medieval Academy of America, he is a widely published expert in the history of medieval thought and spirituality.
He is a winner of the Behrman Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Humanities, the President’s medal for distinguished teaching, the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award, and the Service to Princeton Award from the Alumni Council. Among his most popular undergraduate courses was that devoted to Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. On this journey, Professor Fleming will collaborate with his wife, the Reverend Joan Fleming S*63 — who herself walked a thousand miles of the Camino over successive summers and will have much to share about the modern-day pilgrimage experience. Having led previous literary "pilgrims" on an amble to Canterbury Cathedral a few years ago for Princeton Journeys, the Flemings will once again hit the road in pursuit of the history, art, and literature of a famous medieval pilgrimage.