Summer desire – Camino de Santiago

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A fragment of Valencian Community

 The door is open to all,
to sick and healthy, not only to
Catholics but also to pagans,
Jews, heretics, and vagabonds.

People often ask me, what would I recommend for a soul, craving for new travel experiences and wonderful locations. And I try to give a good advice. But personally for myself, I have 3 choices for the upcoming summer. One of them definitely is Camino de Santiago – a pilgrimage road to the city of Santiago de Compostela. (Lonely Planet guide: Spain, 2011; 8th edition)


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Why? For several reasons.
1. Last summer I totally fell in love with hiking and I would be excited
to put myself into long-distance-hiker boots.
2. I am learning Spanish and I would love to talk to some real amigos!
3. I haven’t explored Spain well enough!… But what I know for sure,
I simply love Spanish wine.

Maybe now you’re thinking… “What the hell is that…Camino de Santiago(???)”. Or maybe you’ve already hiked it? Or you’re planning to? (Well, in that case, please PM me.) So I will try to summarize what I’ve learned about this great trail. And by word ‘summarize’ I mean – short description.. haha 😛

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Just another glimpse to Spanish routine…

Facts:
length – 783km (the Camino Frances – one of several routes);
duration – roughly 2 weeks cycling or 5 weeks walking; place – northern Spain.
The trail originated from a pilgrimage road leading to a sacred city of Santiago de Compostella – the final resting place of St James (one of  12 Apostles).

The road crosses many famous Spanish regions like Basque Country, Navarra, La Rioja, Castilla y Léon and Galicia. So as great cities like Pamplona, Burgos and many more smaller towns. But probably the most important here is Spain’s nature. “The Pyrenees, the vineyards of La Rioja, the vast open spaces of the Meseta, the rugged mountains of Léon and O Cebreiro and finally the peaceful hills of rural Galicia.” Let’s not forget some other bonuses like ancient roads, bridges, chapels, churches, cathedrals, monasteries and so on…

BUT. Lately, I’ve noticed that Camino de Santiago has became a very touristy attraction. And it might be, that it has lost it’s spirit (just guessing). That is why I found one article very beneficial because of it’s critical approach and good insights to the “backstage”. So before deciding anything, please do have a look here:
http://francistapon.com/Travels/Spain-Trails/10-Reasons-Why-El-Camino-Santiago-Sucks

Some other useful links:
http://www.mundicamino.com
http://www.caminodesantiago.me

Though, I would still love to experience this path for myself and tell you what I’ve learnt, because… Remember, nobody’s opinion is right for you. Only you yourself can decide what’s good!
So… see you on the way to Santiago de Compostela! :*

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