Extended Audio Sample

Download Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Paris to the Pyrenees: A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James, by David Downie Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Downie Narrator: P. J. Ochla Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
Regular Price: $21.95 Download
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Download learn more )

Driven by curiosity, wanderlust, and health crises, David Downie and his wife set out from Paris to walk across France to the Pyrenees. Starting on the Rue Saint-Jacques then trekking 750 miles south to Roncesvalles, Spain, their eccentric route takes 72 days on Roman roads and pilgrimage paths—an 1,100-year-old network of trails leading to the sanctuary of Saint James the Greater. It is best known as El Camino de Santiago de Compostela—“The Way” for short. The object of any pilgrimage is an inward journey manifested in a long, reflective walk. For Downie, the inward journey met the outer one: a combination of self-discovery and physical regeneration. More than 200,000 pilgrims take the highly commercialized Spanish route annually, but few cross France. Downie had a goal: to go from Paris to the Pyrenees on age-old trails, making the pilgrimage in his own maverick way.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Downie’s adroit, learned, and ambitious book reinvigorates my sense of travel, taking me back to the happy knowledge that the world is still large, and history unfathomably deep.”

    Frances Mayes, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Evocative and moving…A lively wordsmith, Downie brings a deep and impassioned knowledge of French history, culture, and language to this pilgrimage…An extraordinary account that illuminates France past and present and casts a light on something even greater: the truth that, however we choose to label our journey, we are all pilgrims on a common quest, to answer why we wander life’s question-paved path.”

    National Geographic Traveler

  • “An entertaining read… fabulous company!”


  • “Astutely ruminative, Downie hovers between past and present in this enjoyably offbeat travelogue.”


  • “Profound. A witty and intelligent spin on the spiritual-journey motif.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author

David Downie, an American journalist based in Paris since 1986, has written about European culture, food, and travel for magazines and newspapers worldwide. He was a Paris correspondent for Salon.com, Departures, Appellation, and Art & Antiques and has contributed to many websites. He is currently a blogger for Gadling.com, the popular literary travel site. The author of more than a dozen works of nonfiction and fiction, Downie’s writing has also appeared in many anthologies, among them The Collected Traveler volumes on Paris, Southwest France, and Central Italy; Salon.com’s Wanderlust; Travelers’ Tales: Adventures in Wine; and By the Seat of My Pants.