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Touching the Horizon

A Woman’s Pilgrimage across Europe to the Castle by the Golden City

Karin Jarman

192 pp.  

Temple Lodge Press


Published:  May 2008


“There is gold at the end of the rainbow.” As a child, Karin Jarman loved to gaze into the distance, longing to reach the horizon. She had an urge to travel—the very word seeming to have an enchanting effect. This, along with a deep connection to fairy tales, inspired her to embark on her own magical journey to discover a mysterious castle by a far-off Golden City.

Karin's opportunity came in her forty-ninth year, with her children grown and independent. Entertaining many doubts, she eventually set aside work and family and began a pilgrimage to the fourteenth-century Gothic castle of Karlstein, which had been built by Charles IV near Prague in the Czech republic. Unlike many modern-day pilgrims, however, she made the entire journey on foot while gratefully accepting the hospitality of strangers. Her purpose was not feats of endurance or athletic prowess; rather, she was trying to create a mood of true pilgrimage—to encounter the sacred through outer travels and inner transformation. Her eventful travels covered more than 1,200 miles, taking around twenty-two weeks, during which time she stayed with more than a hundred hosts. Having confronted many issues of her biography, she returned home a changed person with fresh resolve and initiative.

Touching the Horizon is Karin Jarman's remarkable story, from her first inklings that such a journey might be possible, to the arrival at the beautiful fairy-tale castle of Karlstein. She also describes the aftermath of her pilgrimage and its effects on her and her family. This is a rare and gripping narrative of possibility, realization and metamorphosis.

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