Spain’s Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

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                                       (photo by E-roxo)

Spain is a place of many unique and wonderful things. One of which is the pilgrimage of Camino de Santiago that culminates in Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia, in northwestern Spain. Thousands of Christians follow this “pilgrims route” each year leading to the shrine of the apostle St. James.

While traveling through Spain with my life-long friend many years ago, we found ourselves in Santiago (the “de Compostela” is usually dropped when referring to the city). Being broke college students, we bunked for the night in a hostel that rimmed the city square and layered on clothes as north-west Spain is not yet warm in mid-spring.

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                                                      (photo by Paradores)

We headed out of our cold room and explored the heated, and luxurious, Parador de Santiago de Compostela. This place was (and I assume still is) stunning. I loved the history of it, being a former pilgrim hospital, and the heat! My friend, not being one to dawdle, kept us moving.

Leaving the warmth and security of the parador, we crossed the square toward the cathedral. This is when I noticed the pilgrims…everywhere! They were flocking to the cathedral with a calm confidence that has stayed with me all these years. In fact, doing a portion of the pilgrim’s route is on my bucket list specifically because of this experience.

Being the eve of Easter now, I am humbled by the pilgrimage (of sorts) taken on my behalf hundreds of years ago for my ultimate freedom. Let’s celebrate — He is risen! Happy Easter everyone.

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