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55

I have personal experience of walking around the mountains of Thiruvannamalai on a full moon day along with other devotees. Most of the devotees walk barefoot and so did I. The asphalt road is used not only by the devotees but also by other local peoples for transportation. So you will see many people wearing footwear on the asphalt road, who are not part of ...


38

Yes, you can perform Umrah while on a visit eVisa. From the official eVisa website: 8.7 An eVisa is granted solely for tourist purposes or for the purpose of performing a umrah and it is not considered a visa for work. If you are granted an eVisa, you must not take up paid employment during your visit to KSA.


35

Do you need to be religious active to walk to Santiago or do any other traditional pilgrimage? Most people I have heard of who have completed a large part of the Santiago route by walking or cycling were not religiously active; and even those who were practicing Roman Catholics (RC) have never made another pilgrimage. So you will not be an exception, ...


29

Walking barefoot probably won't be as bad as you expect. For one thing, that trail is walked barefoot by a lot of people, all the time. A lot of the things that make barefoot walking painful are likely to be accounted for - the will brush the path for small stones or sharp bits that would hurt to step on. For walking on the road, it might be wisest to ...


26

Just couple of months ago, during peak summer season, I completed this 14 odd km walk around the mountain and I did not do it barefoot. I was probably one of the few wearing my slippers among thousands of devotees but there was no glances of disapproval. Everyone does their own thing. I could not have completed the walk if I was barefoot because it was ...


25

https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Mecca Non-Muslims are strictly prohibited from entering the city of Mecca. Road signs to guide non-Muslims are provided. The minimum penalty is deportation from the country. Documentation will be checked upon entry and anyone not showing proof of being Muslim will be refused entry. As a solitary exception, the Mecca bus ...


23

Only Muslims are allowed to travel to Makkah according to the current rules of Saudi Arabia. Is that an Islamic rule? No. Makkah during the prophet Mohammed's time had non Muslims, they were never kicked out. This rule shows up after that, not sure when exactly, the point is: it's not an Islamic rule. Can you still visit, simple answer is: YES. There are ...


22

My brother, sister and I walked the camino de compostela in 2013 - we are all non religious. Everything is quite organized and we had no problems finding places to sleep/eat. Depending on where you are planning to stay, it can happen that the hostel belongs or is part of the church (albergue parroquial). One time we were asked if we could attend/say a few ...


22

I was raised and spend 18 years of my life in Madinah which is the second holy city for Muslims and it is so close to Makkah (A.K.A. Mecca). These two cities have similar rules and mostly all pilgrims visit Madinah either before or after Hajj so I am answering this out of personal experience and observation and not influenced by the western media. Short ...


21

Being an Indian & Hindu, I can say that it is not mandatory for anyone to walk barefoot for such a long distance. However, due to some religious principles you will be requested to remove shoes while entering into temple. If you are entering into a temple which is quite big then you might have to walk for around 5-10 min barefoot(inside temple only). ...


16

I don't expect walking barefoot will be any trouble, but if you feel like having a backup plan, I suggest you equip yourself with adhesive bandages. Pick the ones without absorbing pads, and preferably matching your skin colour: Apply these on parts of your feet which are most likely to get blisters: front area next to the toes outer part which makes ...


13

The Galilee region of Israel is considered quite safe, and is not near any of the hot spots you are concerned about. You're more likely to be bitten by a scorpion. The Jesus Trail FAQ goes into some more detail, and says in part: The Galilee region is quite stable. There is always some risk associated with hiking and camping alone in any part of the ...


13

I've been researching routes for my trip to the Camino in June/July. It appears that the most popular routes are the Northern way and the French way. Here are the differences between the two. The French Way More popular and crowded. Traditionally starts in Saint Jean Pied de Port, France and crosses the Pyrenees into Roncesvalles, Spain. A lot of French ...


13

Permits are given for non-orthodox and orthodox men. 10 non-orthodox and 100 for Greek and orthodox visitors per day and are valid for a 4 day visit. The permit is called a "Diamonitirion" and you need to make reservations well in advance (upto 6 months is suggested). You can call this number +302310252578 for more information. You can also find post and ...


12

Yes, you can perform Umrah on a Saudi Arabian e-visa. From this news article: Among the most important features of the Saudi tourist visa, is the visa holder can benefit from it in performing Umrah, women need not be accompanied by a male relative, other than in the Haj season, and there is no need for a sponsor (kafeel) the way it is required for work ...


11

Lepido.ch is a French-language site dedicated to everything related to butterflies in Switzerland with a wealth of practical information. According to the site, some butterflies are protected in the whole country and some cantons add further restrictions on top of that. Bad news for would-be Nabokov followers is that Vaud (where Montreux is located) ...


10

Growing up in Saudi Arabia and now living in Kuwait, I can corroborate what @MeNoTalk has said, and will add the following: All road signs are clearly marked in English and Arabic. Make sure you carry with you the identification documents for your hajj hamla (caravan). English is not an issue when walking around the Haram, as most shopkeepers will speak ...


10

Update: From Sergei's answer the french way is the red one and the nothern way is the blue one. Here is an overview of the routes closer to Santiago. The red route "Camino Francés" is "The Way", the well known one. Very busy at the end. It starts in St. Jean Pied de Port, France. The other routes are not as popular therefore the infrastructure isn't as ...


10

There is probably nothing in North America directly comparable to the pilgrimage trails in the Old World; the continent was too recently settled and too lacking in sites associated with Jesus and the Apostles (pace Latter-Day Saints) for such a culture to develop, and U.S. society was suspicious of, and sometimes outright violent against, Catholic and ...


9

I think that there are 2 basic approaches to a pilgrimage which have served people for centuries. It's a holiday. For this to work you need to be properly dressed and equipped (enough sunscreen!) and expecting to enjoy yourself. As with any holiday you need to respect "the locals" which in your case means not only respecting the Spanish, but also the ...


8

If you enjoy being deported and detained, then by all means try to sneak into Makkah. Deportation for non-muslims caught in Makkah and Medina results in a lifetime ban from the country. The signs are clearly marked; for example - for those coming from the East (Riyadh): Makkah (the city) is entirely off-limits. It includes the buildings (and other mosques ...


8

Well, I've tried a bounty and that didn't work (so far, I'm impatient), so here is my guess: Near Aribe at 42°56'25.93"N 1°16'26.78"W : (Courtesy Google Earth). There is a different view here for the moment, by Uranzu, described as Río Irati. Marked "Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike" I dare not upload it but since Panoramio is closing this is ...


8

I have done this pilgrimage with shoes on (trainers in fact). No one seemed to frown upon it, but like you mentioned, walking inside a temple or such is highly taboo. It also depends on why you are doing this. If it is for religious or spiritual purposes, I don't see how walking barefoot or with shoes makes too much of a difference, as long as you pray/...


7

There is only one place designated for visitors inside the walls of the Vatican, the Domus Sanctae Marthae (Casa Santa Marta). But its purpose is to lodge ecclesiastical personnel serving at the Secretariat of State and, as far as possible, at other Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, as well as to cardinals and bishops visiting Vatican City to see the Pope ...


6

Game of Thrones is filmed in various places worldwide, not just Ireland. This map gives you a good breakdown. Many of the castles and other locations are actually filmed in several different locations combined with computer graphics, so don't expect to be able to find something exactly like what you see in the show. In Ireland there are two castles that ...


6

Take a look at this photo and this Google map. I believe that the photo was taken from around about the site of Bottom Withens (which I think is at 53.818568, -2.025406 on the map - North East along the Pennine Way from Top Withens - a distance of some 520 metres) as we look. I think that the 520 metre distance makes sense - very much farther apart and, even ...


6

As stated in comments, going to Saint Jean Pied du Port from Barcelona can take quite long. Unless necessary to go via Barcelona, try to get a flight to Bilbao or San Sebastián, so that you can decrease the travelling time. You can even check flights from Barcelona to Bilbao, which can be found for good prices. Anyway, if you decide to go from Barcelona, ...


6

I describe my own experience as I went on the Camino de Santiago in summer 2011. I will focus on Spain and the camino frances, if you want to know something about france, switzerland or germany I will be more than happy to add my experience in these countries. To answer your question: yes it is absolutly realistic. But maybe you need some time. I met ...


6

@Dorothy gave a great link which I'd never noticed on imdb before. It appears that imdb users add locations that they recognise into imdb's database of filming locations, such as the one for the Bourne Supremacy. I thought I would take some of those locations and stick them into a google search to see if I could find other sites, e.g. this search. The first ...


5

Leaving from Paris (and presumably going through Tours) is clearly not a good option given your criteria. The area around Paris and the Centre-Val-de-Loire are generally flat and the route then goes around the Massif Central, without any major mountainous area and generally less dramatic landscape. The Via Lemovicensis also includes many rather flat areas ...


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