Seminar: Fantastic Creatures on the Camino de Santiago

Date: August 12, 2019
Time: 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM

Join Local Author, Travel Writer, and Anthropologist Beebe Bahrami 
for a free seminar at the Ocean City Free Public Library !

Fantastic Creatures on the Camino de Santiago (and Where to Find Them)
with writer and anthropologist Beebe Bahrami

August 12, 2019    7pm

Journey through real and magical realms on the medieval pilgrimage road of the Camino de Santiago across France and Spain, where fantastic creatures reside, hidden in hills, valleys, caves, wells, churches, chapels, rivers, seashores, and wherever they choose to abide. From prehistory to antiquity to the medieval world, from cave paintings to ancient mythology, to medieval bestiaries to the works of JK Rowling, fantastic creatures have long captured the human imagination and called to us with their magic, superpowers, and symbolism. 

Come join local writer, trekker, anthropologist, and Camino de Santiago expert Beebe Bahrami as we explore this threshold between magic and reality on a magical mystery tour along the Camino de Santiago, the Way of Saint James, a medieval pilgrimage path that is thickly inhabited all along the trail by many fantastic beasts, especially in their favorite places in southwestern France and across northern Spain. The Camino was a religious pilgrimage dedicated to journeying to Santiago de Compostela in Iberia’s far northwest where lays the purported tomb of Saint James the Greater. But medieval pilgrims and stone masons were a curious and merry lot of far flung people from across the Old World, who carried with them diverse stories, ideas, and philosophies, many of which the masons engraved in church stone walls that still survive, or in stories locals still tell today. 

Bahrami has traveled on this trail many times over the past three decades and gathered stories, spoken with locals, and photographed thousands of curious engravings. She will share the best of these stories of fantastic creatures on the Camino de Santiago and where to find them. The talk will be richly illustrated with slides to transport you to ancient stones and stories, medieval churches, holy wells, secret caves, hillsides and mountaintops that carry signs and stories of dragons, basilisks, mermaids, centaurs, fairies, enchantresses, and lesser known but no less magical beings, such as the White Cow of El Bierzo, the Basajuan (Wild Man of the Forest), and unicorns that can cure illness but also turn a man into a woman and a woman into a man, and more.

Local writer, anthropologist, and Colorado native Beebe Bahrami has been trekking since childhood, enchanted by the power of a simple walk to connect oneself more intimately to the earth and to oneself. As a young adult she discovered the magical trails of Europe and has been journeying on foot across France, Portugal, Spain, and the UK since 1986, while continuing to explore the beauty of North America as well. She is the author of several travel books, from guides to memoirs, including the just released guidebook from Moon/Avalon Travel, Camino de Santiago, two travel memoirs set in southwestern France, Café Oc and Café Neandertal, and two travel guides to Spain, The Spiritual Traveler Spain and Historic Walking Guides: Madrid. Beebe’s travel, food and wine, outdoors and adventure, spiritual, archaeological, and cross-cultural writing also appears in numerous magazines and websites, including BBC Travel, Wine Enthusiast, Archaeology, The Bark, Bon Vivant, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Fodors.com, Michelin Green Guides, National Geographic books, and Perceptive Travel, among others. To learn more about her writing, please visit www.beebebahrami.weebly.com.

This program will be held in Room N111 at the Ocean City Free Public Library, 1735 Simpson Avenue, Ocean City, NJ. For more information, please contact Julie Howard at 609-399-2434 ext. 5222 or email jhoward@oceancitylibrary.org.

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