Walking The Via Francigena: Winnipeg to Paris

This “Walking The Via Francigena” series of posts follow us, David and Gail, as we continue our walk along the Via Francigena pilgrimage route between Canterbury and Rome. In the fall of 2019, we completed the first leg from London to Canterbury, known as the Chaucer Way, and onward to the small town of Tergnier, France on the Via Francigena. A pandemic got in the way but now, in 2022, our trek is underway once again, this time taking us from Tergnier to Besançon over 23 walking days and 580 or so kilometres.

So begins the adventure.

Gail and I left our Winnipeg home…late at night or early in the morning, depending on your perspective. We leave in darkness at 3:45 AM, making our way on foot, as we usually do on such trips, to Winnipeg’s airport. We cross Portage Avenue on the BNSF rail bridge, hopping from rail tie to rail tie. Traffic signals change and pedestrian warnings bleep for no one aside from a rare truck or two walkers making their way down quiet industrial streets. The sidewalks end as we approach the airport fifty minutes later, leaving us to scamper over grass and across taxi stands. The cool night air takes on a hint of jet fuel. Engines thunder in the distance. Our next taste of the world will be Paris.

Read on to view photos and a soundscape.

Today’s Soundscape: A walk to the airport.
While looking at the photos below, you can listen to this binaural (hyper-realistic stereo) sound recording. For best results, use headphones or earbuds for a full binaural sound experience.

Click the images below to view a full-screen slideshow.

12 thoughts on “Walking The Via Francigena: Winnipeg to Paris

  1. Ted McLachlan September 7, 2022 / 8:16 am

    Fantastic! great to see you back at it after our bizarre interruption. How long will you two be away this time.

    All the best



    • David Firman September 10, 2022 / 4:23 pm

      Thanks Ted. We will be away until mid-October although that includes a week of
      R&R in Switzerland at the end of our walk.


  2. Neal September 7, 2022 / 12:37 am

    Hello David and Gail. Let us know if you will be in Italy, or your point of closest approach? The image of the horses makes me think that here too in Rome you can see some pairs of horses – here of the “dioscuri”, Castor and Pollux, sons of Leda the swan, patrons of horsemen and travellers – at the City Capital, at the Fascist Forum, at the Palace of the President … the biggest and maybe most famous! It’s amazing what you are able to see with your eye, as you walk along there and everywhere, David and Gail. Thank you.


    • David Firman September 10, 2022 / 4:33 pm

      Hi Neal. We won’t hit Italy until the next stage of our walk, which will hopefully happen in the spring or late summer of 2023. We have to time our walk to the weather of St. Bernard pass. You will be amused or sad to hear that the horses in my photo guard the entrance to P.D. Chang Chinese restaurant in St. James, more of a capitalist as opposed to fascist utilization of a noble creature.


  3. Gloria Romaniuk September 6, 2022 / 7:33 pm

    “We’re here!” I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, I’m so happy for you! I love the b/w!! You are a wizard, David! Great shots!!



    • David Firman September 6, 2022 / 9:42 pm

      Thanks Gloria. We are mid-Atlantic as I type this. Everything is going well so far!


    • David Firman September 10, 2022 / 4:36 pm

      Thanks Gloria. It’s taken some time to catch up on comments but, as you will know by now, the posts are coming at a furious pace!


  4. arjwilson September 6, 2022 / 7:27 pm

    Yippee! Nice to see you back on the road! Happy walking. I’ll be following along.


    • David Firman September 6, 2022 / 9:39 pm

      Thanks Andrew. We are very happy to be finally travelling beyond the Manitoba border.


  5. Rob September 6, 2022 / 4:55 pm

    Merci beaucoup, et bon voyage!


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