After the third Jorsalawalk

From the man who walked the whole Jorsala-trail

In the night of October 15-16, the last four Jorsala pilgrims reached the lively and attractive city of Odessa. Linda De Schutter (as from Bratislava), Linda’s sister Mieke (as from Chisinau, Moldova), Michèle Cortès (as from Budapest) were my faithful companions until we could paddle in the cool water of the Black Sea. As far as I am concerned, it meant a long, five months’ walk, just over 3.000 km. But, most importantly, it was all about the experience which I shared with the Jorsala group of walkers.                                                                                                                                            On October 16 and 17, we enjoyed the sunny weather, the fine restaurants and food of Odessa and, most of all, the fraternization with enthusiastic local people. On the famous Potemkin stairs (legendary location in history books) we did some photo shoot work for the sake of the archives of Jorsala.What else remains to be said? First of all: many congratulations to the 95 Jorsala walkers who, all together, made this pilgrimage a unique and amazing experience!            Compared to the Ieper-Istanbul trail, there were a bit less Jorsala walkers on the trail to Odessa, but this year we met all the more local people from various countries who walked with us for a day and, occasionally, for more than a week. As far as dialogue is concerned, we found that walking with local people and local organizations is an enormous added value. This is certainly true knowing that, as a consequence, this resulted in a good portion of long-lasting human contacts. For all these things, I am very happy, pleased and gratified! I am convinced that for most of the participants the walk must have made a great impression on them. That is why many Jorsala walkers returned repeatedly to the group in order to take part in a second (or even third) part of the pilgrimage.

Many, many thanks to all volunteers on the Jorsala non-for-profit organization’s platform who supported and facilitated this pilgrimage along unknown and unfamiliar roads. My exceptional thanks go out to my family who, during five months, gave me the chance to experience all this. And, to mention one name, special thanks go out to Dirk Opstaele who was, during more than 1.400 km, not only my loyal company but also co-inventor, positive thinker in all circumstances, passionate on the way, observing beauty, and – day in day out – making efforts to find the best, safest and most pleasant routes for the group.

Many, many thanks to all of you. ….Later, you will indeed receive a report summarizing the kinds of roads, trails, paths and journeys by which we reached Odessa.

Jean-Pierre Janssens


After 144 days of walking, Jorsala has arrived in Odessa

Discover the amazing story of the participants:







You will find here our new flyer about the walk from Ostend to Odessa 2017 



Jorsala Dialogue Walk

Where? Aalst
When? Sunday, September 25, 2016, from 9:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Start: in front of the railway station, Stationsplein, 9300 Aalst at 9:45 a.m.
10:00 -10:10: short walk to the other side of the Dender river
10:10 to 11:00: tea ceremony at a local Moroccan barbershop
11-12:45: walk from the center of Aalst, through the local natural reserve Osbroek-Gerstjens, to the city park of Aalst
12:45: pick-nick in the open (weather permitting) or in the Osbroek Sports Center cafeteria; all participants are invited to bring their own sandwiches and drinks.
13:45: walk from the city park to the Meeting Center ‘De Brug’ in Hertshage 11, 9300 Aalst
14:30: Jorsala café in the meeting room ‘Cafetaria’ of De Brug (drinks will be available)

– introductory meeting for newcomers
– time to familiarize or get to know each other better
– exchange experiences and personal motivations
– brainstorm about future Jorsala activities and walks
– brief, plan and prepare the 2017 Jorsala walk Ostend-Odessa
– hold a Jorsala moment of reflection
– give feedback and comments with respect to today’s walk
– share thoughts and visions, announce Jorsala news, draft To Do Lists for work group
– miscellaneous.

17:30: end





In October 2014, Jorsala has arrived in Istanbul after 161 days walking

Men and women crossed whole Europe in a journey together FROM BRUSSELS TO ISTANBUL on foot. A hike of 3.600 kilometer from the capital of Europe, passing the Balkans’ former geopolitical fault lines, to finally reach the gate to the East. The aim was the promotion of intercultural dialogue.

2014: Ypres – Brussels – Sarajevo – Istanbul

A hundred years after the beginning of World War I, Jorsala commemorated the fracture lines of that time, from Ypres to Sarajevo. This journey of 2.230 km on foot was dedicated to solidarity and dialogue, with a moment of remembrance in Ypres and Sarajevo and hope for the future. From Sarajevo, Jorsala continued to Istanbul, the final destination of Jorsala 2014 where Some of the walkers.                                                      the walkers arrived on October the 16th. A total of 3.600 km.

Jorsala 2014: Ypres – Sarajevo

What is Jorsala?

Jorsala is a path which crosses Europe and which creates spaces to bridge cultural, religious, political and ethnical differences.

What is Jorsala?



Ypres– Brussels – Metz – Strasbourg – Bregenz – Bolzano – Trieste – Rijeka – Bihac – Mostar -Sarajevo – Novi Pazar – Pristina – Skopje – Plovdiv – Istanbul

Jorsala 2014

Everyone was welcome to walk with us, the whole path or a part of it. Everyone walked on his own rhythm, alone or in a group. On our way, we  foudn 16 intersection points with accommodation, each time in a bigger city. There people could join our finish they journey.