Blogs from Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain, Europe

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Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela November 3rd 2023

What the city is most noted for is that it is the end point of one of the great Christian pilgrimages, the others being Rome and Jerusalem. The legend holds that in around 813, the bones of St. James (one of the 12 apostle’s) were found in what was then the only stronghold of the Catholic Monarchs on the Iberian Pennisula. St. James was said to have brought Christianity to Spain. During the 9thcentury the Moors controlled most all of the Iberian Pennisula, the discovery of the bones, gave the Spanish King a rallying cry to begin the reconquest of Spain which would take several hundred years. Soon after the discovery, King Alfonso II built a church, and a city grew up around it. The Moors completely destroyed the church and the city in 997. Not ... read more
Courtyard of our Building
Cathederal de Santiago
Cervantes

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela November 2nd 2023

Today is the day we learn to cook pulpo (octopus). It was not an early day, but still the alarm went off at 6, but I didn’t get out of bed until seven. The hotel is pretty large, so breakfast has timed seatings so they can make sure everyone gets seated. The breakfast room was on the second floor in the first building. It was your typical layout, meat, cheeses, breads, fruit. There were no hot items, as they were all cooked to order. The coffee was the best of the trip, your own individual pot and a smaller pot of hot milk. Not to mention, instead of having the communal serving pieces each place setting had their own tongs to take to the buffet. You didn’t have to worry if someone didn’t wash their hands, ... read more
Pulpo
Monkfish
Cleaning the Monkfish

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela July 5th 2023

Santiago de Compostela When we got off the ferry, we had no idea what specific direction we would go. We knew we were going through Spain, Portugal and France, had a couple of firm destinations like Seville and Granada in our minds, but hadn’t a route or had anything else in our minds. After staying in the Picos and having bit of time to study the maps and guidebooks. It seemed the next destination must be Santiago de Compostela, in the Northwest of Spain. Since the 9th Century pilgrims have been travelling many miles to visit the shrine of the Apostle St James, where tradition holds that the remains of the apostle are buried. There are several routes including from France, Portugal and from within Spain itself, with the French Way, or Camino Frances, being the ... read more
Camino route markers
Portico de la Gloria
Campsite reception

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela October 22nd 2022

Our morning walking tour of Santiago de Compostela began right at the hotel. Our local guide first took us around the historical Parador to see the courtyards. The Hostal was built around a plan with four courtyards and a chapel in the center. The front two courtyards, Patio San Marcos and Patio San Juan, were built out in the later 16th century, soon after the building was completed. The two in the rear, Patio San Lucas and Patio San Mateo, were not built out until the 18th century. They are in Baroque style and more elaborate than their Renaissance counterparts. Patio San Lucas is notable for its elliptical shape. (The others are rectangular.) The ellipse is said to be a Galician design convention. Patio San Mateo has topiary of crosses and crowns, a nod to Ferdinand ... read more
La Berenguela
Fonte dos Cabalos
Quintana Façade

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela October 21st 2022

We were now in the Spanish province of Glaicia, which has many historic and linguistic ties to Portugal. Motoring north along Autopista AP-9, we passed Vigo at 3:00 p.m. Catching a glimpse of Vigo was interesting. It has a large Atlantic-facing port and is Spain's most important fishing port. Cruise ships call at Vigo for shore excursions to Santiago de Compostela. The city and port are situated on the Ria de Vigo estuary, which we crossed on the Ponte de Rande highway bridge. A number of raft-looking objects were floating in the estuary. These were Bateas, used for Galician mussel farming. Between Vigo and Pontevedra, the coach made a stop at Área de Servicio San Simón for an afternoon break. Arriving in Santiago de Compostela, the coach boldly drove right up into the historic district and ... read more
Hostal dos Reis Catolicos
Colegio de San Jerónimo
Roasted Barnacles

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela September 22nd 2022

I owed you a somewhat longer description of our last day to Santiago de Compostela. A day, literally, with a number of highs and lows, but ending with the biggest high: biking into Cathedral square. What satisfaction and happiness. In moments Like this, I have to contain myself to not start openly crying. Not just a tier, but really crying. The three of us embraced which felt great. Lots of pilgrims on the square, most utterly tired but happy-faced. The effort paid off; we made it! Back to our day: this was probably the heaviest day of our journey, with steep climbs from the moment we left the hotel. Since the clock had advanced 1 hour the day before, at our regular hour of starting our rides, 8.00, it was still semi-dark with a temperature of ... read more
Us three!!

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela September 21st 2022

Vilaboa to Santiago de Compostela 86 km ARRIVED!! For the time being a brief note. After a challenging day on the road, at 6.30 PM, we arrived in Santiago de Compostela. I feel blessed to be in the position and state of health to complete this bike ride. As it turns out, entering the cathedral square, we exactly clocked the distance from Faro to Santiago at 1,000 km or 625 miles. I will write more about today and our stay here in Santiago tomorrow. Now I feel too tired. Before clocking off, one thing I need to get off my chest: I COULD HAVE NEVER COMPLETED THIS TRIP IF IT WEREN’T FOR MARK AND JAAP. MANY THANKS, I OWE YOU GUYS A LOT.... read more
My measure (miles)
Mark's measure
Getting there!!

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela June 9th 2022

Day 35: Finesterre to Santiago de Compostela: Today was basically a traveling day, from Finesterre back to Santiago de Compostela and the same pension we stayed in two days ago. We caught the bus at 10am, again along with a lot of pilgrims, and away we went. I think I slept part of the way. We arrived in Santiago before 1pm and walked back uphill to the pension. After we checked back in, we went out to find a place to eat. We decided on the Restaurant Dakar. Manoli ordered mussels and I had a pork, croquetas and pasta salad. The pork was quite good, and tender. We wandered around town until dinner time, found a supermarket and bought some stuff for dinner and for the trip tomorrow. For dinner I had a paella that was ... read more
My pork, croquetas and salad, and Manoli's mussels
My store-bought paella dinner
The street to the Plaza Mayor

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela June 6th 2022

We were on our way a little before 7am, for our last day on the Camino. First, we passed through San Anton, then saw another scene from the Hobbit. Next, we went from spooky countryside to just the opposite, crossing the highway spotting a plane coming in for a landing at the Santiago Airport. We stopped in The Patio at San Paio for a break just after 8am. After our break, we continued through Lavacolla, passing the 10 kilometers post. By 10:30 we were in Monte de Gozo, but it wasn't like it was 5 years ago. We didn't see any memorial and any place for great views, so we kept going. Just about 11am we entered Santiago de Compostela, and a half an hour later we spotted the Cathedral spire down the street. At 11:47, ... read more
Entering San Anton
Another Hobbit scene
Crossing the highway

Europe » Spain » Galicia » Santiago de Compostela June 5th 2022

TOUR 2 – Great Iberian Tour – SUN, 05 JUN 2022 – Day 6: "Cable car ride to the Bom Jesus Sanctuary. Wine and Mussels tasting on a boat trip. Visit Santiago de Compostela. On this day we will travel through beautiful landscapes. In the city of BRAGA, we will get on the world’s oldest cable car to ride up to the Santuário do BOM JESÚS, where we will enjoy its gorgeous views. We recommend trekking back down in order to admire its beautiful stairway. Then, we will resume our trip and head to Galicia. We will visit the historic town of CAMBADOS in Rías Baixas where we will go on a glass bottom boat trip in which we will learn about the production of mussels and oysters. Wine and mussel tasting included. At lunchtime we ... read more
Along the Way in Northern Portugal and Northwestern Spain
Along the Way in Northern Portugal and Northwestern Spain
Along the Way in Northern Portugal and Northwestern Spain




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