Carcassonne: gone to Santiago de Compostela, she walks… to Rome!

Sylvie Christophe, alias Sylvie de France, began a pilgrimage without money on February 24; and with many detours. Six months after her departure, the adopted Carcassonnaise was in town on July 14 to watch the fireworks, after having branched off to Marseille, Nice, Ajaccio, Monaco, Rome … and even Florence. A journey placed under the sign of freedom and human encounters, with the aim of arriving on August 27 in Santiago de Compostela.

“I am a lost pilgrim!” Sylvie Christophe couldn’t define herself better. This Thursday, July 14, it had been exactly six months since this adopted Carcassonnaise had taken the road to her native Meuse to try the experience of Santiago de Compostela. An adventure started deliberately without money, Sylvie putting her journey under the sign of human encounters. And given the path traveled since February 14, we guess even before the start of her story that the adventurer has met many beautiful people.

“I never thought I would do this one day”exclaims the one who calls herself “Sylvie de France” on social networks. “I wanted to know who I really am when I have nothing.” If the answer is undoubtedly complex, the person concerned already claims to better understand the meaning of the word freedom. In any case, this is what she claimed from April, when she was already stopping in Carcassonne, saying she wanted to make a slight detour via Italy and its capital. What frim? It’s not the kind of house. Yes, Sylvie’s footsteps have taken her all the way to Rome… and more.


“After I came to Carcassonne in April to vote, I left for Pont-Saint-Esprit, Miramas then Cannes where I attended the setting up of the Festival, with the little hands who work at night. These people interest me more than movie stars!” Along the coast sometimes on foot, sometimes hitchhiking, sleeping with the locals or under the stars, Sylvie ended up arriving in Saint-Tropez and then Nice… where she decided, on a whim, to make an old dream come true. . “I had wanted to discover Corsica for a long time, but I had time in front of me! I managed to raise 40 euros, I bought a ferry ticket.” Arriving on the island without the slightest knowledge or precise destination, the pilgrim on the loose applies her philosophy to the letter: trusting encounters. They will allow her to reach Bastia then Ajaccio, before Sylvie takes up residence in a heavenly setting, inside a cave facing the sand and the sea. A three-week break before returning to the continent , always with Italy as the horizon.

“I who don’t speak a word of Italian, I was lost”, remembers Sylvie on her arrival. So she “along the sea”, before a motorist drops her off at a station. Direction Rome… to become disillusioned. “I didn’t feel good there, I found the city dirty… I quickly left.” All that for this ? Maybe, but it’s just one more episode in the rich journey of “Sylvie de France”. There were many others afterwards since before returning to Carcassonne, she managed to land in Florence (“Wonderful”) and Monaco (“Where I slept under the stars on a bench when it’s supposed to be forbidden”). From now on, promised, Sylvie is well on her way to Spain. “My objective is to arrive in Saint-Jacques on August 27, the day of my 50th birthday.” Of course, she doesn’t yet know how she will get there, or who she will meet by then… and that’s what she likes. “People are often afraid of the unknown. But when the unknown becomes your daily life, you tame it and make it your strength.”

While in Florence.

The human for horizon

“Since my departure in February, I have practically only met people I did not know!” It is said that in a trip, the journey is worth as much as the destination: Sylvie Christophe completes this adage with a human dimension at the center of the adventure in which she has embarked. Thus, not a stopover without the Carcassonnaise not mentioning a singular person whom it has met.

“In Miramas, I helped a young person prepare for a parkour festival. In Marseille, I spoke with Yvan Sorel, champion and MMA coach. In Corsica, a man who helped me said to me: ‘ ‘From now on, you are family, call me in case of concern”. I’ve never had a family like that!” Without forgetting this blind person who confided to him that he had “afraid of nothing”. “She calls me whenever I feel down, like she feels it.” More than friendships, beautiful life lessons.

Leave a Comment