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December 10, 2016

In albergues, bars, shops, and by everyday folks calling out “Buen Camino.”

Cafes are called bars along the Way. Across from the big, modern albergue in Burgos is this tiny bar, own and run by Ana, who is pictured. She exemplified the kindness and attentiveness I experienced over and over – in albergues, bars, shops, and by everyday folks calling out “Buen Camino.” I had so much fun in Ana’s little bar that I kept going back. She was such a kick – warm, friendly, a little goofy, and kind to everyone.  I took a day of rest in Burgos and so I was able to enjoy the hospitality of her bar […]
December 10, 2016

Castillo de los Templarios in Ponferrada

This was another one of my favorite stops, although truthfully, sometimes I think my favorite stop was where I was at the moment – I sure did love every stretch of El Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Some places, though, were breathtaking. This picture is of the Castillo de los Templarios in Ponferrada. It was given to the Knights Templar in 1178, and the Knights provided protection to Pilgrims along the Way of St. James.  What a sight to behold this castle is. It is immense, about 16,000 square meters, with the requisite drawbridge, moat, and it has 12 lookout […]
November 21, 2016

Santiago is how you say St. James in Spanish

Santiago is how you say St. James in Spanish.  Since El Camino de Santiago de Compostela is The Way of St. James, you are not surprised to encounter many images of him. There are statues of him guiding you along the Way. There are murals on walls. Obviously there are lots of images of him in churches and cathedrals. There are numerous images of him in the museums.  In the cathedral in Santiago, there are stairs behind the altar that you walk up so that you can hug the massive, jewel-encrusted statue of Santiago that looks out over the congregation. […]
November 21, 2016

Mystical resting place of the Knights of Saint James

Brierley’s guidebook has suggestions for noteworthy points of interest that are several kilometers or more off the Way. On April 28, just before the end, I took him up on one of his suggested detours and walked 2.3 km from the albergue in Portos to Vilar de Donas, the Church of San Salvador. It began as a 9th century nunnery and it is where many of the Knights of Santiago are buried. Their effigies stand in silent mystery. Brierley comments: “Will you take time to detour to this mystical resting place of the Knights of Saint James? Here effigies of […]