The Camino the Santiago also known as the Way of Saint Jaimes is an ancient pilgrimage network leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain. Legend holds that St. James’s remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain, where he was buried in what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela. During Middle Ages it was a Christian road, today you will find any Nationality and every kind of persuasion on the way. Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. Pilgrims usually hike on foot, but it’s also common to cycle, with a backpack on their shoulders. The scallop is the symbol of Saint James and wearing it on the backpack or neck will identify you as a pilgrim. It’s also a symbol for freedom, cause its common to complete the last 90 km to the Atlantic coast to Finisterra – the world’s end – and collect a scallop at the beach. Every pilgrim carries a credencial, the pilgrim’s passport, it allows you to enter the official pilgrim’s accomodation (Alberques), which are very simple and cheap. In the end you have to show your Credencial at the pilgrim’s office in Santiago de Compostela to get your Compostela, a certificate issued by the Catholic Church. With this certificate all your sins are forgiven. Today it’s more a nice souvenir, but in former times criminals were sent to Santiago de Compostela to think about iniquities and to grow a better person. The compostela served as proof that they were actually there. To get the Compostela you need to walk 100 km or cycle 250 km at least.
I heard for the first time about the Camino de Santiago when I met my friend Isi. She just finished it a few months ago and when she was talking about it I was excited, immediately. I knew I have to do that and started reading all about it I could find. After four months of planing I started my journey. I can not say how grateful I am to have met Isi. For the great friendship and for the opportunity to grow.
This journey changed my life. And never went by.