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Approaching Santiago


Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
A quote from a book I treated myself to for Christmas. It is called The Story of Santiago de Compostela and it is by Catharine Gasquoine Hartly. Read on and you'll see why I am placing it here rather than in Pilgrim Books (though I'll mention it there too):

Sound familiar? Coming from the south west...?

"Night in Galicia has not the darkness of nights in grey northern lands. Although the moon had not yet reisen, the first stars were showing in a violet sky that was almost as clear as day; and at some distance before the end of the journey was reached, we gained our first vision of the towers and steeples of Santiago, rising most attractively over the low hills which conceal the complete view of the city until you are close upon it. Not only is Compostela picturesque in itself, but its situation entirely circled by hils which are just near enough, but not too near, to form a charming background, is exceedingly impressive and then well-chosen site has been the most of by the happy skill of the men who have reared here a great mass of buildings on buildings, with the Apostle's mightly cathedral in the centre, forming a charming skyline, and rendered doubly beautiful by the many breaks in its outline, caused by the groups of towers and steeples that stand up so grandly by the old churches and convents. I have seen no city in Spain which is more impressive in the distance."

This description, almost exactly, was my first site of Santiago de Compostela from the bridge over the highway after Milladoiro, just as my Camino Portuguese was coming to a close last July.

The only real difference I suppose is that this was written in hundred years ago!
Xubileo 2010...Can't wait...

Tracy Saunders

P.S. Anyone who would like to read about my own experiences on the Camino Portuguese from Porto last summer is very welcome to visit my blog at
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