Santiago de Compostela

Santiago must have been a fascinating place back in the Middle Ages, with the huge focus on pilgrimage. Pilgrimage and associated tourism is still important and it was a bit of a shock to arrive here after travelling through so many tiny and simple villages.

There are many pilgrims each day arriving and I e never seen so many people hobbling around and using walking sticks!

The cathedral reflects the centuries of importance and patronage it has enjoyed but unfortunately the most famous of its features, the 12th century Portico of Glory, is closed for restoration. 

At the twice daily pilgrims’ mass, the Botafumeiro is often used. In medieval times it was a way of fumigating the massed stinking and often unwell pilgrims as well as being part of the mass.

The cathedral organ

It’s traditional for pilgrims to hug this statue of St James from the rear. 

Here’s the hugging queue which snakes right around the church

And here’s another queue outside to buy lottery tickets which seem to be immensely popular in Spain .

The special cross of Santiago can see seen everywhere . In the cathedral

On the Torta de Santiago which is a kind of almond cake

And on pilgrim’s hats

And there are lots of souvenirs !
A Galician piper busking 

Clogs in the Gallego folk museum

A bit of art nouveau amongst all the medieval buildings !

After having chips/ french fries just about every night for 6 weeks I went tonight to an Italian restaurant and ordered beef with eggplant grrrrrr! Time to go home.


3 thoughts on “Santiago de Compostela”

  1. Hi Paul, Good to see your photos of Santiago- glorious ceiling in cathedral. Arriving in such a big and busy place must have been quite a shock in a way after your many days on the road and the solitude of being immersed in nature each day and staying in mostly small villages. You’ve experienced an amazing journey. I imagine it must be strange getting up and not having a route to follow. I dare say your legs will be relieved! Enjoy Santiago Paul. Thanks so much for your blog. I will miss it. I wish you good things as you continue on your journey. Especially an absence of potato chips! Happy reunion with Cathy!

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. The first time I did a long walk I was also very apprehensive. If you prepare yourself with lots of walking, have good boots and a comfortable backpack and you’re in good health you should be fine. You can do as short a walk as you feel comfortable with.


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