bordermarkers of the
Pyrenees : about me
Perhaps you're interested in some personal background.
born in 1957, live in Eindhoven (the Netherlands) and I am a retired
psychiatric nurse. In 1992 I got the idea of walking along the
Dutch-Belgian border with the search for every bordermarker rather
being a means than a goal. Inviting friends to join me, it became a
memorable friendship-project. Also the start of a passion which brought me finally to the esfr-border.
bordermarkers is a wonderful way of walking and
discovering. You need to find your own route, it takes you to places
hardly visited, the border provides often a quiet & green scenery
and the goal of finding every bordermarker gives a collector's drive.
There are many memories I cheerish of beautiful and distant places I
visited. Also of the friendship when trips were undertaken together and
- of course - of the thrill of finding an unfindable bordermarker.
And it made me interested in the bordermarkers themselves: their
origin, their history, their morphology and their aesthetics.
They are cultural-historical monuments, worthy of preserving and
internet is a poor man's publishing house and a tremendous meeting
point. In 1998 I launched a website on the Dutch bordermarkers (www.grenspalen.nl),
one of the first on this subject. It raised interest and led to
interviews in magazines and on tv. Nowadays a lot more people in
Holland are searching for bordermarkeres and
the dutch 'bordermarker-scene' is a vivid community.
first visit to the Pyrenees was in 1986. Followed in 1998 and
succeeding years by walking the GR10-trail. Jan-Willem Doomen was
my first companion on that trail and he returned in later years to join
me on bordermarker-hikes.
Some parts of the GR10 includes
bordermarkers and they were the first to photograph. The tripoints of
Andorra were visited in 2001 and 2004. 'Doing' all the Pyrenean
bordermarkers seemed too ambitious to consider but the
bordermarkers of Llivia were done in 2002-2005.
2003 I was interviewed by a French journalist (see this article) and I
told about my dream to find all the esfr-bordermarkers. Though I
continued to accumulate my 'collection' in later years, I realized that
I needed more time and drive to do them all. And there was
another idea: designing my own walking trail along the bordermarkers: the GRPdesBF. The
final drive came upon me in 2008 in Peru: see this page.
- let's say - 2024, my project will be completed. And then? Well, I
think I'll end my bordermarker-career in the Pyrenees on - I hope
- a very advanced age. These mountains offer enough for a
lifetime of walking and undigging border-history. And bordermarkers
themselves keep changing: they weather, tumble down, get damaged
or disappear. There will allways be a reason for some bordermarker-trip.