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Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
The "Cold Showers" post and the subsequent answers made me think of my favourite places and things on the Camino Frances, the Camino Aragones, and the Camino Portuguese.
I am going to suggest that we all share. Here's mine: (feel free to add categories)

I´m going to limit this to the Camino Portuguese simply because things have changed on the other two since 1999, and 2000. I do, however, remember Villamayor de MonJardin with great fondness (I wonder if my pastel sketch is still in the old pilgrims' book). It is at Villamayor that Miranda meets Alex in Pilgrimage to Heresy, and Miranda is given some advice she finds later she can follow. I was one of the first guests at Ruitelan in 2000, and I stopped by while driving to Santiago this time. The spread on the table made me envious. Definitely not to be missed.

Right...

Best Albergue: Portugal

La Casa de Fernanda in Lugar do Corto 22 kms from Barcelos and 11 kms before Ponte de Lima.
If you want to be in Heaven just a few hours, don't miss it. Fernanda, Jacinto, and Mariana will welcome you as though you were the first pilgrim to stagger tired and hungry up her steps - which is exactly how Fernanda got started helping pilgrims. Ask her for her story. Donativo for bed and three meals so do try to be generous. Beds and sheets, but much more. You'll find the white house by looking off to the left about 1 and a half kms from the crossroads with the church (signpost there). It's the second one.

Best Albergue: Spain
I am really fond of Padron. There is a kitchen and communal area and the bunks are in the loft. The showers are hot and the view is lovely from the front balcony. Great way to welcome new pilgrims.

Best meal: Portugal
Barcelos. Just down the road from the Bombeiros Voluntarios is the restaurante Vera Cruz. I had a fantastic salad, massive prawns, bread and butter, and two beers for 8 euros.

Best meal: Spain
The Bar Pulpo in Barro does the best hamburger I have ever tasted! Everything goes on it, including egg. Go on...give it a try. It is 3.50. I'll bet they do some mean octopus too with a name like that.

Best place to stay: Oporto
The Posada de Juventud is nice and has a great view of the river estuary. The only drawback is that it's a bit off the Camino. But the bus in front will take you to the cathedral where you can begin those 240 klms. Accommodation is 15 euros minus a 10% discount for pilgrims with credentiales (breakfast is included). They do evening meals for 7 euros, but there is also a kitchen and a supermarket across the road.

Best place to stay: Santiago
After three years in a row I am almost a fixture at the Hostal Alameda on Rua San Clemente, just beside the Parque de Santa Susanna and a stones' throw from the Cathedral. Antonio and Angel will give you lots of information about the city. Singles from 22 euros. Triples and quads are available too. I am also a fan of the Hostal Suso.

Best place to eat in Santiago: Casa Manolo! What a bargain. My mouth is watering at the thought of those pimientos de padron and the chiperones a la plancha. Three course meals (and cheap Ribeira in jarras) for 8.50. Wish they would open one in Marbella!

I hope that others will join me in sharing their favourites.
Buen Camino,
Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
Well Tracy you did say "feel free to add to the catagories" so I did! though they may not be quite what you had in mind.

Best Religious services

Pilgrims mass at Roncevalles. Being called forward and standing in a candlelit circle for the 'pilgrims blessing' at the end of mass- providing 'certainty' when I least expected and most needed, it.

The 9pm Holy Thursday service in Pamplona Cathedral-'a cappella' by candlelight for congregation of 50-perfect, poignant & profound.

Los Arcos Easter Sunday mass squashed into upper gallery with excellent view of the comical faces of C17th (?)'choiristers' painted on the organ pipes. From the look of them they obviously sang with nearly as much enthusiasm as the current choir! Communal, heartfelt, engaging.

Carrion de los Condes, Pigrims Alberge Santa Maria. Attending the pilgrims blessing given by the Sisters . Footsore pilgrims, squashed onto benches,huddled in the doorways,sitting on the steps of the stairs and the floor, each speaking out our names and home place- giving witness to our pilgrimage. Our efforts being acknowledged, and thus somehow renewed, by the gentle benediction of the sisters. Essential and grace full.

(I missed out on the evening service at Rabanal we were told that the monks were away for the day- & unfortunately it looks as if that service is going to be unavailable for the immediate future due to the current dispute. I hope that this can be resolved soon)

Evening Mass at Triacastela with Fr Augusto and a congregation of 14-Sunlit, inclusive & joyous.

Pilgrims Mass Santiago-Overt display of Baroque bling, the crowds of tourists snapping pictures, jostling pilgrims with poles and backpacks, the weight of your own expectations, feelings of anticlimax etc and then just when you think 'is this is?' - mass starts.... and despite all that 'ephemora' something connects and gets to you (for me anyway)

Best 'Spiritual/meaningful' sites/locations (not exhaustive!)

St Jean Pied De Port Notre Dame du Bout du Pont. Early in the morning lighting a candle and sitting listening to the sound of pilgrims footsteps heading out on their journey.

La Vierge d'Orisson-Isolated on her cliff top, gaudy with the talismans and offerings of supplicants (including mine)- providing surprising and powerful connection with home.

Eunate in torrential downpour- giving shelter and so much more.

Suso. Spring sunshine, warm wind, blossom breaking on the hill-Being allowed to linger by a kind guide with my only fellow worshiper a robin.

O'Cebreiro Iglesia de Santa Maria Real. Protected from the storm outside, shedding frozen gear, sitting quietly and finding I'd got more than just my breath back.

Bonne route
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
Hello NellPilgrim...
Lovely. Two perfect categories. I would like to add them to mine.
Best Religious service:
Camino Frances:
Most certainly Rabanal in 1999, when I had a very strange sensation which was some sort of Epiphany, I guess. Miranda has it in the book. I am appalled at the treatment the monks have received! The Gregorian chant was wonderfully atmospheric. I noticed when I was there in July that there are some sort of excavations/renovations being done and the altar was at the other end. Let's hope this is all resolved soon.

On the Camino Portuguese: The service in Mos was lovely as the church was full of incense and I felt very welcomed by the community.

Best Spiritual/Meaningful Location:
Camino Frances:
Singing in the little church in Azofra, thinking that I was completely alone (even though I wasn't).

Going to sleep as only one of two pilgrims after a great meal with the priests of the Hospital of St. John of Malta. I was looking at a candle flickering in front of a statue of St. James and feeling very sure that I was in the right place.

Looking down at the huge fireplace at the Domaine Sauvage during a thunderstorm (Le Puy - Conques).

Portugal: Another singing moment (I'm a 1st soprano in a choir/orchestra) while walking from Padron to Teo. It was absolutely pouring with rain and I couldn't have been happier!
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
How about using this as a template? Copy and paste and add as much as you wish........


Best albergue/refugio:

Best meal:

Best place to stay: starting point

Best place to stay: end point

Best meal in Santiago

Best religious service

Best spiritual/meaningful site
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
I thought that this one might be worth dusting off. Where are your favourites?

I want to add:

Best breakfasts in Santiago:
El 26 de Julio opposite the new police station just down from the Alameda. Croissant, cheese, toast and jam, fresh orange juice and really good coffee. Say hi to Noria.

Tertulia has REAL English and American breakfasts! With baked beans and pancakes!!! At the most westerley end of the Rua das Hortas (follow arrows for Finisterre route). It's on the corner. Fantastic coffee too.

Best View: Go for a $5 glass of wine at the glass conservatory by the parador. The wine is good but you really pay for the view. The favourite reminiscence of fellow author Sue Kenney and me!
Great view of the city from the Parque de Santa Susana (though her church is a DISGRACE!), especially from the top of the ferris wheel!

Best Experience: On the subject of views: Two and both begin at the same place. The rooftop of the cathedral is wonderful even if you don't get much of a real look at the REAL Palacio de Diego Gelmirez on the way up. But the best for me is the tour of the Excavations. Don't expect to do that on arrival in Compostela though. You have to book WELL in advance. See my other thread for info.

Best Museum: I go back to the Museo das Peregrinaciones time and again. And it is free! Also this time I went to the Crypt for the Portico de Gloria "virtual tour". Not as good as the real thing (it´ll be ages before we see that again, alas; it´s so damaged) but really well worth while. And they give you a nice friendly book in Spanish, Gallego, English ... not sure about the best. That is free too. Ahnd the Museo de Arte Sacro in the Monasterio de San Pelayo has the ORIGINAL altar from the first basilica. As Michael Caine would say: "Not a lot of people know that". They won't let you take pictures though. They´ll try to sell you a big fat book instead... :roll:

Best bookshops: Encontros and Follas Novas (massive selection of Camino-related material). Look out for Don Rafael of the white hair. He is the leading expert on the Portico de Gloria
 

sharon w

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007
Camino Portugues 2009
Via Podiensis, Camino Frances, Camino Finisterre 2012
Cammino di Assisi 2014
Via Podiensis, Camino del Norte, Camino Frances(Astorga to Santiago) 2015
Aussie Camino 2016
Have to agree with Casa Fernanda in Portugal. We had a wonderful time there and were treated as friends.
Sharon
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
If I could suggest a candidate for sainthood it would be Fernanda Gomes Rodrigues. I was back there for the fifth time just two weeks ago and she and Jacinto and 11 year old Mariana begged me to stay longer. The amazing thing is that she treats everyone the same way: as though they were the first pilgrim she found tired and scared outside her front door.
The new Chalet is lovely and has the nice Fernanda touches. There are now beds for 11 but sofas can, and have been, pulled out for weary pilgrims.
I cannot recommend it too highly. It's all donativo and often you have to ask for the money pot! It's not even visible as you sit at their table and eat their excellent food and make merry with Jacinto's great wine (it comes in green plastic bottles - very large ones!) The comments in the visitors' books speak for themselves.
A place to really think about priorities: just sit in the garden and you will see.
 

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