Walking in Cornwall

Nearly two weeks in Cornwall already, it looks like such a small area on the map and there is so much to discover. I have extended my stay for another week, also because I love my cabin so much. And all the beauty! The snow cleared quickly and made room for milder days often with long sunny stretches.

I have explored most of the coast while walking parts of the South West Coast Path from Penzance clockwise to 6 miles before St. Ives when the terrain became just too muddy and hilly for me. I liked the challenge to walk the Path, often very rocky and always close to the sea. The structure of a walking day suits me a lot: getting up fairly early, having a good breakfast and then head out, spend the day outside in beautiful scenary, picknick outside or in a cosy cafe or pub and then coming back happy and tired, eat some more, rest and sleep. In between there were a few rainy days which I enjoyed too, resting in my cabin which is now comfortably warm, reading, writing, connecting with my friends online.

Today is such a rainy day, I cooked a meal in the kitchen of my host and chatted with her and one of her friends. The friend grew up around here and told me about the most interesting stone circles to visit. Stone circles are coming more into my focus now after which felt like honouring this area by walking along the coast.

As you might know this was once the most important mining area in Europe. Mining (mostly tin, then copper and arsenic) started here around 2150 BC says wikipedia and the last mine closed in 1998, most mines however starting closing around 100 years ago when cheaper metals came in from other regions. The mining industry made this area a rich and thriving place for hundreds of years. However, today this is one of the poorest areas in the UK. I had mixed feelings when I walked along the ruins of the old mines and chimneys, there can be beauty in looking at the ruins with a backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. And at the same time the Earth feels terribly pierced here, sometimes every few meters there is an old mining shaft. One has to keep well to the paths not to fall into one of those shafts. I read that some of the mining shafts had tunnels that went far out under the sea.

The most peculiar thing happened when I tried to connect to the spirit of Cornwall close to the area with the deserted mines. The voice of the spirit felt like it was choking, it seemed to come through in a very high pitched voice. Not that I exactly hear a voice, but when connecting, I could feel how my throat was thightening. At first I thought it had just a funny character with this special voice, then I was wondering if it is maybe not doing so well. Maybe with all the mining and digging and extracting the Earth here might suffer, or as most of the old shafts are now filled up with dirt the Earth cannot breathe? First I asked myself what this might have to do with me and then I asked a few women friends to tune into this together with me and we had a sense that there is not ever only the pain to be felt, it helps to look at it more from a more holistic or integral point of view, also to see the beauty or necessity (e.g. to extract metals). We all sensed that somehow any presumable suffering of the Earth is always connected to human suffering, in the sense that it is only mirroring the suffering of humans, our fates are deeply connected. We could also sense a strength wanting to come through from the Earth which needs each of us to let it come through us, in the case of Cornwall maybe making us aware of all the things that we don’t allow ourselves to express. This feels important and I will elaborate on this in later posts.

People kept mentioning ‘Poldark’ to me in conversations as if this was something everybody should know about. I was curious to find out, but as I don’t normally watch TV, I had to read up about it and actually found parts of this apparently very successful TV series on youtube and watched some of it online for a few days. On my walks I found myself wondering what will happen next in the film and being excited and worried together with the characters. I imagine this is the fun of following a TV series, to kind of feel with the people in the film. Maybe I am just too easily distracted as I noticed that this took me from being present with where I was walking and from my walking practice, so I stopped watching further episodes. However, I quite enjoyed it and it gave me a good idea of how life might have been here around 150 years ago.

Back then and still today one of the most well-known landmarks around here is Land’s End, the westernmost place of England. This is also where we can meet the energy lines again that I mentioned in my post on Glastonbury: Michael and Mary enter England here, very close to Land’s End. I think I detected them and sat down on a rock which I felt was close to the energy from one of those lines. Anyway I felt restored and happy when I moved on. Similar to the landscape near Glastonbury, the land around this area seems to be filled with some special light, everything is a bit more sparkling then in other places or I like to see it like that.


Yesterday I travelled on to Cornwall. When I was tuning in where to go after Glastonbury a few weeks ago, the most southeastern corner of England would kind of light up on the map in my mind’s eye, it seemed to be blinking at me. This happened several times and I started to read up about this part of Cornwall and finally booked an airbnb place here in Penzance. The journey was quite adventurous. I had been aware of the forcasted snow and people in Glastonbury even went as far as suggesting I should travel the day before, but when I felt into it, it seemed to be ok to go ahead with my plans. When I stood in the snow waiting for buses yesterday, there were times when I was not so sure anymore. But the buses came eventually, the first local one however, which I was on for 1h 30 minutes was freezing cold, outside -4 degrees and inside just a few more. I was able to warm up for 15 minutes in a cafe at a bus coach stop after the ride. The next bus brought me to a junction close to the M5 where the Falcon bus to Plymouth would pick me up. In that short stretch I overheard people saying that bus services would be stopped in the afternoon.

My Falcon came, I had to clear my bag of a layer of snow when I boarded the bus, and going on the M5 was ok until just before Plymouth where snow fall was getting heavier and everything slowed down. When we arrived in Plymouth, many bus services from Plymouth had been cancelled. A young man from Egypt had just heard that his bus to London had been cancelled and we walked together to the train station where he wanted to check if he could instead go by train. I had chosen to get from Plymouth to Penzance by train anyway and though my train was delayed it did go and we had a beautiful ride through snowy Cornwall. But most of the connecting services had closed down and as I listened to fellow travellers trying to phone a taxi to get to their home it seemed that also taxi companies had stopped going because of icy roads and continuing snowfall. They have not had this amount of snow here for 40 years I was told. I called my airbnb host to tell her about the delay, and asked if she would be able to drive as she had offered to pick me up at the station. She was indeed waiting for me at the station, one of the few people in Penzance without four-wheel drive car who dared to drive on the snow. She told me that she was not sure if we would make it up the hill to her house, a 3 mile drive, and if not a friend of hers with a tractor would come and help us … But we made it thanks to her courage and winter driving skills. Yeah.

I am staying in a cabin in her garden. The water in the kettle was frozen when we arrived and there was no running water because the water pipes must be frozen I think, but a mobile heater is bringing some warmth to the room and the internet is working. I had a good night under two duvets and my hat on. Today the forcast is for strong winds which are already blowing around the cabin, but temperatures are to increase.

This is what happened as an outside adventure. Inside I was enjoying my ‘knowing’ that I would get to where I needed to go. A similar knowing that also keeps me from following plans sometimes, as it kept me from cycling when it was too stormy on Lanzarote for example. Yesterday, even when I started to be insecure when buses were running late, the part in me that focussed on imagining arriving here was stronger.

And then this joy, that is filling me since I am in Cornwall, during the train ride a very intense joy full of light would pierce through me sometimes. I don’t think I have ever known this kind of joy, it is deeper somehow as I was able to feel until now.

And waking up this morning the joy was there again and is here still. It feels precious and I want to share it too. I am aware that the whole setup with the cabin and the snow deeply nourishes the adventurer in me. Also aware of being an adventure for beginners as from this cabin I could walk a few meters and enter the warm house of my host if things are getting too extreme. But imagining to be in a cabin in the mountains, tending a real fire instead of an electric heater and preparing my food on the fire too feels good. I want to experience that soon. At other times in my life I have stayed in real cabins and sat by the real fire deeply happy, but not alone.

Curious what the day will bring. Sending love from happy Cornwall. And sending blessings and warmth to all those who were not so lucky and got stuck with their cars in the snow and do not have electric heaters and double duvets and a kettle beside the bed.

The view from my cabin. There is a little stream just beside it too.


The Avalon of Marion Zimmer Bradley, place of King Arthurs adventures, entry to the fairy kingdom, holy wells, ruines of the Glastonbury Abbey, legends around a hawthorn bush. I am truely delighted to spend time here. It feels like a happy place to me, friendly and enchanting. I started writing this post earlier, but here I am on my last day, only now ready to share some of what I experienced in and around Glastonbury. 9 days of glorious sunshine, though quite cold for the last few days. I learnt to keep myself warm while spending most of the daytime outside walking and wandering. My base was a lovely airbnb room not far from the center of Glastonbury. Here I spent the evenings reading up on the stories around King Arthur, the history of the Abbey and mostly on ley lines in the internet. So much information to digest.

On my first day I was drawn to the remains of the Glastonbury Abbey, and the surrounding gardens. The story goes that here one of the very first Christian Churches was built by St. Joseph of Arimathea, the uncle of Jesus. The church emanated such a holyness that it attracted people from near and far. It was built from wood and was destroyed in a fire in 1184 along with the Abbey buildings. Today there are remains of the Chapel St. Mary that was built on the foundations of the old church. The holyness is still there. I saw young people sit on the bench and take their shoes off to connect to the grass, I copied them and it felt like being connected to a flow of energy, refueling on joy and wellbeing. It feels timeless, joy and wellbeing must have always bubbled up there, even before any churches were built.

I spent a few hours in the garden around the ruins of the old Abbey, walked beneath the many different kinds of trees and rested in a lovely orchard. A few days later I spent another afternoon in the garden near the ruins. In the meantime I had read about the ley lines or better maybe to call them lines of earth energy that run through the Abbey garden. These particular energy lines start in Cornwall and flow in a more or less straight line through to Hopton-on-Sea on the Norfolk coast. Dowsers have detected two distinct energies, one fairly strong and the other softer and calmer. On the current of the stronger energy line churches named after St. Michael can be found, often set on hills. On the current of the softer energy line the churches are more often dedicated to St. Mary. So the energy lines are called St. Michael and St. Mary respectively. Knowledge about this is assumed to have been around for thousands of years. In the Abbey garden the St. Michael and St. Mary line are supposed to cross each other. Starting in Cornwall they kind of dance with each other and cross at certain points. I tried to sense where they are flowing and did not get very far. I spent some time on a bench where I could feel the strongest flow of the joy and wellbeing energy. Dowsing might be the next skill I want to learn.

On my second day I walked up the Tor, Tor is an old word for hill. This hill would be the old Isle of Avalon I assume. A few thousand years ago the land around the Tor was mostly under water and only through drainage the land has dried over many many years. On the Tor a tower, part of a church call after St. Michael, is standing. Today I walked up to the Tor again, however could only stay briefly with strong and cold (-2 degrees) winds.

At the foot of the hill, the Challice Gardens with a sacred well with healing waters can be visited. According to legend Joseph of Arimathea burried the holy grail here, the grail which was used in the last supper and in which he collected Jesus’ blood. One can decide if the coloring of the stones over which the water runs comes from Jesus’ blood or from the high iron content of the water.

And beside many more, another meaning place in Glastonbury is the Wearyall Hill, where the same Joseph planted his walking staff and it started to grow into a Hawthorn tree, the sacred Glastonbury thorn tree. This particular thorn tree used to bloom twice a year, around Easter and Christmas. I was wondering if the legends hold some truth and yes, maybe they do. And maybe the more important part is that through the legends a connection is made between the Middle East or more specifically Jerusalem and this part of the Earth. This is a special place, not because of the legends, but beyond the legends.

When looking out from the Tor enjoying the excellent views over Somerset and the surrounding fields and small towns something caught my attention. The street to one side of Wearyall hill, which is situated opposite of the Tor with some of the town of Glastonbury in between. I wandered along the street a few times since I discovered it and found the most beautiful energy there. It is called Roman Way, so most probably built back in those times, it crosses the hill on the southern side so that the houses get the full warmth and power of the sun. It felt like an area of richness and clarity, the soil, the plants, the houses. I would want to live here if I chose to live in Glastonbury. And I started to be poetic up there. And marvelling how the people in the older time knew so well to built in partnership with the landscape which benefited both, the people living there and the landscape.

Lanzarote II

Lanzarote deserves one more blog post. Such a special place.  I came back a week ago after experiencing beautiful, however, unusally coldish, sometimes rainy and often windy days.

On my last day I tried to go to the energetic church again, about 17 km from where I was staying. To get there I had to first cycle up a mountain against the wind, when I was on the top, I thought that it was just a matter of rolling down the other side, but there were windy gusts so strong that it was difficult to continue. After trying for a bit and finding myself being blown around with little space on either side, the cars on my left and lava fields on my right, I decided to turn back. I let myself role back down the hill and then further on to the sea. I took a walk at the beach, feet in water which I enjoyed a lot. And maybe the energy I was supposed to feel that day was from the sand at the beach when I lay down and rested.


Another day I went on a guided walking tour in the north of the island, the wildest part I would say. We climbed up a cliff with beautiful views of four small islands off Lanzarote, one of them, Graciosa, is a tourist attraction in summer, mostly for day tourists and a few people live there. Our guide explained some of the plants, many of them endemic, that were growing along the route we were taking. He also told us about the difficult water management on the island until around 80 years ago, when Lanzarote was one of the first islands that installed a desalination plant. Today most of the water used comes from two such plants, but as the water still tastes salty, most tourists buy their drinking water in plastic bottles which need to be transported to the island by ship. That is the fairly crazy water situation today. Back before desalination, the islanders had a system to collect the rain water, rain was scarce, and still they had to live on what they managed to collect in winter for the whole year. Farming was possible through a special method using a volcanic gravel. Farmers spread a layer of the volcanic gravel onto the field, to not only protect the earth from being blown away by the constantly blowing trade wind but also to soak up the condensed steam from the dew of the night and then transfer it to the ground during the day.


When tourism started to get bigger on the island, however, farmers left their fields to work in the hotels. Today only few people grow vegetables this way. However a similar method is used to grow vine. Driving through the vine growing area of the island was most impressive. For each grapevine a round protective wall has been built to shelter the plant from the trade wind that is always coming from the north. The view of these hillsides is peculiar.


In my last post I mentioned the Centre of Anthroposophie, I continued going to the regular eurhythmy sessions and took one private session. I was curious about the effect that it might have. To the session I brought my issue of feeling cold most of the time, my cold feet and hands and needing to wear a hat often. It was interesting to feel how small adjustments of body movements could have an effect on the energy management of the body. My main insight was to generally put awareness when I am standing more on my heals than on the front of my feet. Generally I seem to have a tendency to lean forward which could be one aspect why I am not able to keep my heat for myself so well.

Oh, and I have to mention another house that I visited, designed and built by Lanzarote artist Cesar Manrique and others. Truely magically placed into the volcanic lava with fantastic views. The story goes that Omar Sharif when filming on Lanzarote saw and loved the house and bought it, only to loose it in a bridge game the same day.


On the flight back to Berlin I chatted with my neighbour a young woman from Prague who was suffering from multiple sclerosis. But she seemed to be quite well and she said that spending a few months every year on Lanzarote for the last 10 years helped her to heal a lot. I am interested in hearing more about the healing powers of this island.












My walking project brought me to Lanzarote. Most interesting place manifestation so far, I would say. I kind of knew I wanted to visit the Canary Islands, I had never been here, but they sounded beautiful. Apparently each of the islands is very unique. When I was still unclear which one I wanted to visit, my friend mentioned Lanzarote and it made click in my body. Two days later I had booked my flight and found a place to stay.

Getting here was very smooth, I even had a friendly chat with one of the security women at the airport. The local bus stopped in front of the airport building in Lanzarote when I came out and took me to the place where I had to check in, in about 15 minutes. On that ride I observed some of the touristy beaches and promenades. But I have already learnt to avoid the places where most tourists are. I live on a Finca around 5 kilometers away from the sea in a shared apartment. My flatmate is lovely. We just clicked and have spent most of the weekend together.

She is renting a car and we dedicated most of Saturday to discover the world of Lanzarote’s famous artist Cesar Manrique. He built one of his houses into the lava of the island’s volcanos. Architecture in tune with the surrounding nature, very inspiring and beautiful. He was also involved in creating the Jameos del Agua built deep into the craters of volcanos, there was a lake in which a very particular type of white crab is living, a restaurant, swimming pool and a whole auditorium under the earth. Also the surrounding nature is breathtaking, in the true sense as I sometimes found myself stopping to breath. We stopped at a particular windy place on the way and could literally lean into the wind, but after experiencing the joy of letting ourselves lean in we both turned back instantly as we noticed that in the next moment we could have been blown away.

Energies are intense wherever we go. Yesterday we visited a small local market and my flatmate met an old friend. She told us about a special church with strong energies, we spent some time there, took off our shoes and connected directly to the energies that the volcanic rock is apparently emanating. I don’t understand what is happening, but I can feel lots of energy. At the same time my sleep seems to be very deep, deeper than normal and very regenerative.

Today it is raining, rain that this normally very dry island urgently needed. Our eurhythmy teacher told us that after long phases of draught the volcanic sand is too dry to be able to soak up the rain, she described how she mixed dry sand and rain water to ‘teach’ the sand about water again.

The Finca, in which I stay, is associated with a Centre of Anthroposophy. Here in the centre we can participate in sessions of Eurhythmy some of the mornings, take treatments or participate in concerts, talks, etc. There is also a small Cafe/Restaurant where I am sitting now and writing. I can connect to the internet here, at the Finca we are far from any wifi.

I am glad that I ventured out on the bike that I rented on my first day, the sunniest day so far. I had somehow made up my mind in the morning to go to a place in the South of the island (Playa Blanca), kind of far and when I was riding there I noticed that I was going mostly downhill and with the wind. It was so much fun and the view was so stunning that I did not want to stop although I knew I had to go back the same way. And going back was hard but not as hard as I had thought and I was happily tired when I arrived at the Finca. On the way I saw the Salinas de Janubio and in the distance the next Canary Island Fuerteventura.

This feels like a whole new world to discover.

Being Seen

Last week I had an experience which brought me to an interesting realization: It was through facebook, when it kindly reminded me of G’s Birthday. I met G. at a conference on Intercultural Training about 12 years ago. He has been an expert in that field for many years and when, last week, I thought about our encounter at the conference, I realized that back then he had seen something in me that I am only waking up to now. A competence in me, that he could see back then, and I only come to believe in now after taking off layer after layer of insecurities. It really hit me and it felt like what he saw was activated through his seeing it in me. If this is what happens, there could be qualities in us that are never seen by anybody and we can never bring them to life or make them part of us. Or we spend our time in mostly positive environments and with people who are present with us. That would give us the biggest chance to activate all that is in us, assuming that this is what we want. I could feel gratefulness for G’s gift in seeing people and told him so in my birthday message.

Also nature wants to be seen in its beauty and specialness. This is what I learned in recent encounters with nature. Just noticing a place or tree is good, seeing beauty in a place or plant seems to energise the place, then more beauty can emerge, stronger and more nurturing places are created as experiments such as in the Findhorn Garden have shown already many years ago. I believe that we can co-create with nature in many more ways that are to be explored.

Also seeing the beauty in a tree or a flower can be the doorway to a connection. I remember my time on the island of Erraid last September, when I was ‘trying’ to connect to the spirit of the island. I might have been trying from a contracted place, wanting something and nothing happened. When I asked what was missing and I prayed for an answer, I understood that first the beauty of what I want to connect to needs to fill my heart, then a contact is possible.

In this context a friend recently used the word ‘worship’, it is a strong word and possibly has a strong effect when embodied. I intend to experiment with this. Lots of exploring and experimenting to do on the next island I will be visiting: Lanzarote.



The Tree

The Tree

I found a tree friend on Bornholm. A beech tree with one big trunk out of which grow two smaller trunks. Standing beside a small road in a forest with otherwise mostly needle trees. It caught my attention when I was walking past, it seemed powerful and I was attracted to it. I asked if I could come closer and yes I could. Then I followed an impulse which has been coming often recently when I am intending to explore a connection to a stone or old graves or trees. I walked around the tree in clockwise direction three times. It feels like a sign of respect and just feels right, in those moments I cannot act in any other way. Then I explored from which side of the tree I wanted to get even more close and touch the tree. After some sensing I found a really nice place where I could lean into the tree with my whole body. It felt wonderful as if time was standing still. Then at some point the question formed in my head: What can I do for you? And the answer was ‘Just be with me’. Most of nature I have connected to recently seems to be waiting for us to get into contact. Nature is there for us, waiting for healing. Any healing that we might need seems to be deeply connected to the healing of Mother Earth. She can only be healed if we agree to be healed and give her all these unexpressed emotions or whatever we have kept inside for too long.

I returned to the tree twice, before leaving Bornholm. In some ways it felt like meeting with a lover, and each time I brought a present for my tree. When we met for the last time I could feel a circle of energy that was flowing through me and the tree, it felt like in the flow of the circle my heart was being washed and what was washed out flowed into the Earth to nurture it. It was a beautiful experience, my heart was happily throbbing for a few more hours.