With a little help from two wheels and a combustion engine, Mike Cowling joins the faithful at Santiago de Compostela.
Yorkshire Post.co.uk–The emotion of it all was too much as tears streamed down their cheeks. Two young women, rucksacks and walking sticks discarded, hugging each other for all it was worth, had finished the pilgrim’s route Camino de Santiago and were standing outside the city’s cathedral, journey’s end.
Santiago de Compostela, in Spain, has been a site of pilgrimage for centuries since claims of the discovery of the remains of St James were made. It would appear that it doesn’t matter if you haven’t walked or cycled one of the many routes of the Camino de Santiago (The Way of St James to the English), all are welcome and have been since the Middle Ages.
The back streets, stunning plazas and alleyways of this randomly laid out city have history and the visitor feels part of that evolving story. Santiago de Compostela was the focal point of our trip, one powered by internal combustion engine and not by human power. That would have taken too long for our week in Spain that started well after a smooth crossing from Portsmouth.
The setting: Much like a quaint version of Barcelona, this city has a vibrant blend of history and family-friendly attractions.
Things to do: Situated on the southern Mediterranean coast, Almería is only a short taxi ride to Cabo de Gata Natural Park, where you can explore over 60 km of pristine beaches, and still make it back to the city to enjoy the delicacies of the hundreds of tapas bars that are open all night. If you want to take a unique tour, El Cabo al Fondo will take you on an interactive adventure along the cliffs and caves of Cabo de Gata. Swimming and snorkeling off the boat is highly encouraged.
Where to eat:El Rincon de Basi – Whether you’re looking for a full fledged meal or just stopping in for tapas, there is no better place to find fresh seafood, steak, or a fantastic relleno.
Where to stay:Hotel Catedral Almeria – located in the heart of the old city, this hotel blends right into the stunning cathedrals located around it.
The route of St. James is one of the largest spiritual, cultural and religious events to take place throughout the history of humanity. For centuries it has attracted pilgrims from all over the world to make their way to Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of the apostle St. James. There are two of routes or “ways” that pass through the region of Asturias. One is the northern coastal route and the other is El Camino Primitivo or “the original way”, said to be the route of the very first pilgrimage ever made to Santiago. More…