Experiencing Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Initially our plans were to hike part of the camino. Not because of religious reasons, but more so to enjoy the coastal scenery that goes along northern Spain. Life, however, throws sometimes a different path at you and we decided otherwise. We went to a surf camp in southern France. I know its completely different and not spiritual whatsoever, but it was fun. Read more about it on our post about France.
The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage that ends in Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain were St. James remains were buried. The word of mouth has it that his remains were carried from jerusalem to Santiago de Compostela. This pilgrimage was originally a christian pilgrimage, but when you arrive at Santiago de Compostela you quickly notice that people all over the world with different belives do the camino simply for spiritual growth. There are different routs starting all over Europe, but one of the most popular ones are the camino de Frances (french route) or the camino de Portuguese (Portuguese route). From what we’ve been told by other pilgrims we’ve met at the hostel, a short but also scenic route is the Finisterre route.
Santiago’s old town is a sacred place filled with history and great architecture containing gothic, romanesque, renaissance and baroque styles. Once you arrive to the great cathedral, you see all these backpackers and pilgrims who have hiked for weeks and sometimes even months to get to Santiago de Compostela. You see the joy in their faces and also the relief to have finally completed their camino which they started for their very own reasons.
We used the app ” BlaBlaCar” to get from Gijon to Santiago de Compostela. The name sounds sketchy doesn’t it?!? In case you’re wondering what this actually is, it’s Europes downgrade version of “Uber” where you basically just enter your origin and your destination and when you’d like to leave and the app shows people that are headed the same way but only charge you a small amount compared to public transportation. For us it worked out great in Spain. We used it several times and met great locals who’d give you recommendations. If you’d like to know more about how it works read about it more on our post Tips and Tricks in spain.
we stayed at the Hostel Roots and Boots which is a true backpackers hostel with a beautiful yard, where you can see walking sticks people left behind once they finished the camino.This Hostel also offered laundry service and and a small restaurant for convenience. We met several people, who have completed the camino and their stories are unique. A young Israeli gentleman who hiked it for three weeks, a german man who has done it for one month, a Korean who hiked it barefoot, and three elderly women from Denmark who hiked it also for several weeks. Its marvelous to see all these people with different backgrounds come together to one magical place.
I hope you enjoy our pictures and can see a little of this beautiful Town.