Monday (another pleasant 18°)
Another of the roommates left at 4.30am. She did it relatively quietly but left all the bloody lights on…..not impressed. Had a quiet morning doing washing and packing my bag for my early flight tomorrow. The Camino photos are nearly done but haven’t started on the hundreds of Barcelona ones….oh yay!
Had lunch at a restaurant opposite Sagrada Familia before my allotted tour. It’s such an amazing building. The two facades, the Nativity (completed by Gaudi) and the Passions of Christ are so different even though the Passions side was built to his instructions. The Nativity is so decorative that it looks incredibly busy when you look at Continue reading “Barcelona – Day 5 – Sagrada Familia”
Saturday (pleasant 18°)
The bunk above me obviously had an early flight because she was up at 4.30am, turning on lights, leaving taps running and generally crashing about. So I got up early and went to Casa Battlo. The outside of the building is gorgeous, the lizard on the roof is amazing and there are some really cool features in the apartments. If you didn’t have the audio guide to talk you through it, you’d never see where the inspiration came from – the mushroom inspired fireplace nook, the handrail on the staircase that is like a spine, the window that resemble turtles – an incredible artist. Continue reading “Barcelona – Days 3 & 4 – Casa Battlo & Tibidabo”
Thursday (pleasant 16°)
After such an emotional night and the lack of sleep, I thought and hoped I would sleep on the plane but it wasn’t to be, which was kind of a good thing because the scenery was amazing. We flew along the along the coast (Bay of Biscay) before heading to Barcelona and flying parallel to the Pyrenees and over some incredible mountains. I was really surprised that Spain was this hilly and given that I’ve harped on about trudging over hills and mountains for the last seven weeks, you’d think I would have worked this out by now but obviously I hadn’t. Continue reading “Barcelona – Days 1 to 3 – Gaudi Buildings, Cathedral & Palau de la Musica”
Monday (cold and windy)
I realised this morning that I’m officially a tourist and no longer a pilgrim, which made me sad. There’s a certain feeling (don’t ask me to describe it) about being a pilgrim. Although after consideration, I have come the conclusion that I will always be a pilgrim, it’s just that I’m no longer on pilgrimage.
I moved hotels alas, I couldn’t afford more than one night at the 5 star Parador. The Hotel Compostela is still 4 star but the difference in the attitudes of the staff was mind boggling. At the Parador, they were not forthcoming with information and had the crappiest map whereas the guy at reception at the Compostela gave me maps and lists of restaurants and couldn’t have help more. Continue reading “Camino de Santiago – Santiago de Compostela”
Well, it’s finally my last day of walking. 20kms to Santiago. It’s raining lightly which is a bit disappointing, not the way I wanted my last day to pan out. At least it’s not ridiculously cold.
It stopped raining just as I was leaving Pedrouzo but was still quite foggy and dark turning into the forest. The walking was beautiful yet again, through eucalypt forests, which are a bit boggy under foot. Continue reading “Camino de Santaigo – Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostela – Final day walking”
Started off a bit teary this morning and really struggled. I just wanted it to be over. A few days ago I was sad that it was finishing and now I want it done. My legs hurt, my feet hurt, my back is sore and I’m sick of going up fucking hills. And John fucking Brierley has so much to answer for because he never mentions half of the hills in the guide. While I want it to be over, I’ve only got 40kms to go and will finish tomorrow and I had to talk myself into savouring these last days. Continue reading “Camino de Santiago – Arzua to Pedrouzo”
Another short day. This time 15kms and again, cool and in light rain. I had been disappointed that I hadn’t seen a church that was open for about 5 days and after last night, really needed one. Something I’ve been doing for years is that when I go into a church, I light a candle for Mum and Dad. Given how many churches I’ve been in on this trip, there is a distinct hole in the ozone over Spain at the moment for the number of candles I’ve lit for them. So after last night, I was felt the need to light a candle and I happened to come across a very, very old church just on the outskirts of Melide. Continue reading “Camino de Santiago – Melide to Arzua”
A relatively short day today: only 13kms. At breakfast at the spa resort and all these oldies are in their dressing gowns, mostly hotel supplied and a few of the men have chests showing, so I’m wondering if they’re wearing anything under them. I was praying that they had bathers on because if there was a wardrobe malfunction I didn’t know if I’d ever be the same again. Looking out the window, I thought it was foggy but is actually light rain. Continue reading “Camino de Santiago – Palais de Rei to Melide”
I’ve been walking for all of 15 mins and have already stopped for a cuppa at Ventas de Naron. I’m obviously not planning on over-extending myself today.
I’ve also come to the conclusion that the only good thing about Portomarin was leaving it. I can’t complain out the accommodation, it was very modern, very nice and one of the biggest showers I’ve seen but there was nothing redeeming about the town whatsoever – except maybe the bridge coming into town. If the church had been open, it might have changed things slightly.
Continue reading “Camino de Santiago – Portomarin to Palais de Rei”
Sarria – Rest Day
To get a compostela (certificate) at the end of the Camino, you have to have walked at least 100kms. Sarria is either 112 or 116kms (depends on who you talk to) from Santiago de Compostela and because of that the Camino gets significantly busier from this town. Very early in the Camino I was told by a guy doing his 4th Camino, that from Sarria onwards was very boring. I was surprised that he would even say that to someone doing their first Camino but I also found it to be very wrong. The scenery from Sarria was beautiful with wooded paths but the villages were no longer the quaint medieval towns that I was used to and it started with Sarria. Continue reading “Camino de Santiago – Sarria (Rest Day) to Portomarin”