Saturday, May 13, 2017

Our Santiago

We know many fans of the Camino de Santiago. We have been asked by other people and ourselves about taking on the Camino. We could never warm up to the idea, see the point....

It took coming to Santiago for me to realize that we have been on our personal Camino for the past 10 past years. Every year we leave the comfort of our home, the security of my kitchen, to be in the world at large. Our travel is our Camino, our journey. For that matter, shouldn't we live our lives as if walking the Camino, deliberately and contemplatively, each and every day?

I liked Santiago de Compostela right away, as we fit in really well with our backpacks and boots, except we NEVER wield our hiking sticks in town. In Santiago I did not feel at all conspicuous. John immediately pointed out that is not an acceptable feeling for someone who is supposed to be on the Camino. Upon more reflection, I decided that my concern is mainly for the aesthetic harmony of a place, no need to shock the natives.

The surprise highlight of our Santiago visit was the Rio Sarela bridge to bridge trail. The trail is only 7 kilometers long. The rio is really a stream, more or less right in the city, since you are walking in the stream bed, it is like being in another world. The stream is clear and fast moving. The trail has a dozen types of surfaces. You walk by a dozen bridges of various ages. There are old clothes washing stands, mills, tanning factories along the way. It was the most enchanting walk ever! Because we were having a typical Galician spring day, we only got to walk one-half of the trail in reverse. I guess that's life too.

From Viana do Castelo we took the train to Santiago de Compostela, changing trains in Vigo, Portugal, home of the world's largest fishing port according to Wikipedia.
Fishing Port - Vigo, Portugal

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Looking to  Vigo, Portugal

The Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela may just be the center of the universe. Under renovation until 2021, it is surround by 4 squares/plazas, and is pleasantly both lively and sublime at all times, inside and out...These folks just finished walking the camino and asked me to take a photo.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Cathedral Interior - the tomb of St James.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Folks assembling, under the giant pipe organ, for the daily noon mass.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The line of people waiting to hug the statue of St James.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

There's a university in Santiago and the the first evening we were in town, the students were celebrating with speeches, chants, and song just around the corner from our hotel. Was it the end of classes for the year?
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The Cathedral at night.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The Mercado, built in the 1920's, is cool.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

The local cheese; in the shape of a woman's breast.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Mercado fountain with bovine relief.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

City Hall at night.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Here are some shots from our walk along the Rio Sarela trail. The "tanks" are all for washing clothes. The buildings are mostly tanneries.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Enjoy your Camino!



4 comments:

WQZ said...

I am touched by your beautiful meditation on your journey of life.

Sun-Ling said...

@WQ, ah, it's from being on the Road. It has that effect on one.

Crash Eddy said...

Concur with WQ, you are waxing philosophic.

If you claim your breasts are shaped like those cheeses, S-L, you have bragging rights, for sure.

DayleInNC said...

Sun-Ling and John, I enjoyed your reflective post. Adelante y buen camino, mis amigos!