Meet Me Under the Trees to Rest
I am a total sucker for a big tree-lined pedestrian promenade.
Whoever first had the idea to plant two gorgeous rows of trees to create a shaded walkway was a genius, as well as a visionary, because giant trees take a long time to grow.
It’s like having a little bit of forest right in the middle of town. If you don’t have time to go to the woods, at least you can still get under the trees.
There is one in Bristol about two miles from my house and I walk myself over there at least once a week to walk beneath the trees.
We had one in Tübingen as well, dreamily set right alongside the river.
On our first week on the Portuguese Camino, we finished the day with a tree-lined walkway in Ponte de Lima. After we’d had our lunch, we headed back there to occupy several of the benches for our afternoon naps. It turned out to be the only place in town where you could be kissed by the gentle afternoon breeze from the river.
In the Parque da Alameda in Santiago de Compostela, you can walk under a similar row of trees, another perfect place for a rest at the end of your long walk.
When I pass a bench under these inviting trees, I long to sit down for a while. Even I am not tired, the benches seem to call out to me to come and enjoy them. To be present for a moment, and to watch others walking along the way.
Like I said, I just adore these tree-lined avenues.
And so when we walked into Padron on our second to last day of the Camino and from a distance, I saw that we were about to walk under a promenade of trees AND that there seemed to be a few restaurant tables set up, I thought, Dear Lord, I HOPE they have stopped there!
And by they, I am referring to the folks walking ahead of me on the Camino.
It was nearing the end of the day and we were all a bit spread out on the trail. There were a few folks ahead of me and a few folks behind me. And then in the middle there was me and a few others. We had just stopped at an open air market where I had grabbed a wheel of my favorite Galician cheese and a big fresh baguette.
Somehow I had a hunch that any snacks I had on me would be happily consumed by my fellow walkers.
Then we saw the tables,
situated merrily underneath the shade of the trees,
and as we got closer, we realized with delight that
YES, it was our group sitting there!
And they had already ordered drinks.
We joined them and pulled out our snacks while we waited for the rest of our crew to show up.
As folks arrived, they were immediately pulled into the welcome of the table, sitting down with relief in the shade.
Two friends ran back to meet the last straggler and walk the rest of the way with her.
They arrived to claps and cheers and soon there we all were, sitting under the trees like we would stay there forever.
And I believe I might still be there if the restaurant hadn’t eventually closed up for the afternoon. Soon the tables and chairs would need to be stacked and carried away. And so it was time to go.
Besides, we had a swimming pool waiting for us.
Mini Walking Stories is a project I’m doing this month to catalog a fabulous year of walking. During December, I’m inviting you to come along with me for a few minutes on one of the walks I took in 2022. Read more stories here.