VF Day 1: Jet Lag, Eminent Rain, and Walking

VF Day 1: Jet Lag, Eminent Rain, and Walking

Jun 1, 2022 | All Blog Posts, Via Francigena | 4 comments

I should be asleep right now. It’s 1:30 a.m. There’s rain coming in at 11:00 a.m. so we have to start walking early. I definitely should be asleep. Unfortunately my body is still adjusting to the 6 hour time zone change and I’m restless with anticipation of the pilgrimage we’re embarking on.

I try to be productive with my time. I start by reading the book I have downloaded on my phone because if I’m genuinely tired that usually does the trick. If that doesn’t work, I play the most boring game I have on my phone, solitaire. It’s the modern equivalent of counting sheep. When neither of those work, I blog. So here I am, it’s 2 a.m.

Hopefully this won’t happen too often. Sheer exhaustion from the walking should allow me to sleep well. However, I’m a post-menopausal woman which means sleep doesn’t always come swiftly.

The morning comes and we are ready for breakfast at 7:00 a.m. I think I had about 3 1/2-4 hours of sleep. We enjoy our first pilgrim breakfast in Switzerland. I had yogurt with granola and a cappuccino. Brian had cereal with milk, yogurt, and a cappuccino. There was bread, meat, and cheese that we packed up for today’s snack.

We have a short 12 km walk and we picked the flat route. A pilgrimage is what you make of it. We are in the first leg of a marathon. The goal is Rome. The goal is also that we make it to Rome healthy, no lasting damage to our bodies, and we have a long way to go.

It’s a beautiful day. We’re on the official VF route for about 6 of the 12 km, a gorgeous bike path for all of the walk. I am thrilled today is easy because we have some extremely challenging days ahead to get over the Grand St. Bernard Pass of the Swiss Alps.

A rest break

We arrive at the Abbey of St. Maurice a little before noon. Wow, that was quick! Fortunately, they allow us to check in. We take advantage of how we feel and tour the Abbey. It is stunning. Check our YouTube channel for videos as we will share a bit about the Abbey in our video.

Then comes the wait. It’s mid-afternoon and everything closes for a type of siesta. Fortunately the bar is open and it has wi-fi so we enjoy a glass while we catch up on a bit of necessary work.

It’s decision time. The restaurant opens at 1800 (6 p.m.) which is the same time as mass. Mass is all in Latin and French. The decision is made because we just heard from the Geneva airport, our bag was found and they will be delivering it tonight between 8-10 p.m. Sounds like we need to go to mass and then head to dinner so we will still be awake when the delivery driver arrives.

The mass was interesting, a lot of Gregorian chanting. We didn’t understand much but wow was is beautiful to listen to. No pilgrim blessing as we sometimes experience.

The Abbey of Saint-Maurice

Dinner was pizza. It was good meal but I know we’re going to have a lot of pizza.

Tomorrow we’ll have breakfast with, hopefully, the sarcastic Father who doesn’t speak English but showed us to our room. I’m also hoping for a blessing. We need it. We start a small climb up today, then we have 3 days of intense climbing. It’s also supposed to rain for the next 3 days. Please lift a prayer.

By the way, our hiking poles/umbrellas arrived by a courier from the airport at midnight. At least we have them. if you haven’t already, make sure you check out our YouTube channel because we’ll will have a lot more details and stunning video of our walk.

Check out the video on YouTube!

Stats for today:

  • Walked from Aigle to Saint-Maurice – 12 km
  • Lodging at the Abbey of Saint-Maurice – 60 franks
  • Abbey Tour – 24 franks


  1. Tim Cahoon

    When you wrote Abbey tour 24 frank’s, I scratched my head wondering why you needed 24 monks to lead you around. Glad you are on your way. Bless you both.

  2. pariskat10400

    Thank you! So you went in June 22. I did the Coast to Coast in England at the same time!

    • The Colemans

      How fun!!


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