Wednesday, May 24, 2023

A (short) Homage to the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage


Last week Gill and I went for a holiday to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northwestern Spain. The old town of Santiago is a beautiful medieval city full of history and art, as well as bars and restaurants. It is also the end point of a famous Catholic pilgrimage route across Spain from several points in Europe to the reputed remains of the Apostle St James. Some 200,000 pilgrims take part every year. There are 9 routes and the most popular route is about 800k.

We were tourists not pilgrims but with help from the local tourist office, we were able to work out how to catch the airport bus (6A) and get off about 10k away at village of Lavacolla, outside the Supermarket, in order to walk back. The route is well marked and there is many other walkers. It was a lovely walk, lots of rolling countryside and historial stop offs (One at least not to be mentioned in polite company) but we did notice angry handwritten banners in the villages protesting about some planning proposals for the area (see riot Police on hand for a later demo outside the Cathedral which seemed to be a somewhat OTT response?).

My father (another John Gray) did the full pilgrimage route several times despite being a socialist atheist from a Scottish non conformist background. He always said he enjoyed the comradeship of the pilgrims from all countries and different walks of life and also the fantastic scenery.

One day I will come back and walk the full walk.

No comments: