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Not just walking but enjoying the journey - Culture and history

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MaxHelado

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués via Variante Espiritual 2022
My first camino is imminent and I think I have the route and the accommodation pretty well planned. Anyway, I will soon find out!
What I am still missing is something that will tell me about the places, the history and the culture of the towns and villages I pass through.
I would like to avoid sharing supper with other pilgrims and discovering that I have walked past important/interesting places without even knowing it.
Most/all of the guidebooks I have seen are full of important information on where to stay and where to eat but light on places of interest.
Any ideas?
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
MaxHelado,

This is very useful.
The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago – The Complete Cultural Handbook by Linda Kay Davidson and David M. Gitlitz.
Not a day by day guide book but a rich resource for anyone interested in the art, architecture, geology, history, folklore, saint’s lives, flora and fauna of the camino Frances.
It is available on Amazon in both paperback and as an ebook.

Happy research and Bien camino!
 

MaxHelado

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués via Variante Espiritual 2022
MaxHelado,

This is very useful.
The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago – The Complete Cultural Handbook by Linda Kay Davidson and David M. Gitlitz.
Not a day by day guide book but a rich resource for anyone interested in the art, architecture, geology, history, folklore, saint’s lives, flora and fauna of the camino Frances.
It is available on Amazon in both paperback and as an ebook.

Happy research and Bien camino!
Thank you for the info but I’m walking the Portugués!
 

Albertinho

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Bye bye forum
I’m out !
Thank you for the info but I’m walking the Portugués!
But starting in Vigo has nothing to do with Portugal. Vigo is in Galicia , Spain- España.

you will miss all the historical and cultural Portuguese places
Vigo is a big town with a big harbour where oiltankers and cruiseships stop. ( once I stopped there coming from Brazil) nothing special to tell about. Yes , a big electronics shop, Mediamarket .

Pontevedra is a medieval town. There are some nice restaurants. Wikipedia tells something but as there is a Dutch expression “ there is nothing to tell about what we should write down in a letter and send this home for them who did not go with us.
Same for the rest of your journey. Maybe some abbeys in Poio and Armenteira are intersting to visit but they have nothing to do with the caminho. But before I get the entire forum against me , I tell you that the landscape is beautifull. . We made a tour with car and caravan through the Salnés area (where the Variante Espiritual leads through) and there are beautifull spots Like the ruta de pedras e das augas between Armenteira and Barrantes. And at the coast the village of Combarro.

I can't remember the date but somewhere on a sunday in May there was a feast in Redondela, about saving kids from a dragon. That was nice. We ate a horrible sour fish dish . Still remember that. Yaggg.
Sorry not more to say .

start in Portugal I should say, full of history and culture.

And once arriving in Santiago you will meet the history and culture.
 
Last edited:
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!

MaxHelado

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués via Variante Espiritual 2022
But starting in Vigo has nothing to do with Portugal. Vigo is in Galicia , Spain- España.

you will miss all the historical and cultural Portuguese places
Vigo is a big town with a big harbour where oiltankers and cruiseships stop. ( once I stopped there coming from Brazil) nothing special to tell about. Yes , a big electronics shop, Mediamarket .

Pontevedra is a medieval town. There are some nice restaurants. Wikipedia tells something but as there is a Dutch expression “ there is nothing to tell about what we should write down in a letter and send this home for them who did not go with us.
Same for the rest of your journey. Maybe some abbeys in Poia and Armenteira are intersting to visit but they have nothing to do with the caminho. But before I get the entire forum against me , I tell you that the landscape is beautifull. . We made a tour with car and caravan through the Salnés area (where the Variante Espiritual leads through) and there are beautifull spots Like the ruta de pedras e das augas between Armenteira and Barrantes. And at the coast the village of Combarro.

I can't remember the date but somewhere on a sunday in May there was a feast in Redondela, about saving kids from a dragon. That was nice. We ate a horrible sour fish dish . Still remember that. Yaggg.
Sorry not more to say .

start in Portugal I should say, full of history and culture.

And once arriving in Santiago you will meet the history and culture.
Which reminds me of the old joke (slightly paraphrased):
Pilgrim to villager: "Can you tell me how I get to Santiago?"
Villager to Pilgrim: "Well, I wouldn't start from here"

And I didn't think I was walking in Portugal but I did think that the Camino Portugués was still the Camino Portugués after you cross into Galicia. Do I have that wrong?
 

MaxHelado

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués via Variante Espiritual 2022
This is not an extensive description of towns and villages but more of an overview of the Variante Espiritual from a history/culture aspect, which is the best I can do!
Variante Espiritual Highlights
Thank you Jungleboy, this is just the sort of stuff I was looking for.
Now I need to dig around and find something similar to cover Vigo to Pontevedra and Padrón to Santiago.
I would expect that will be much more widely available.
 

Albertinho

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Bye bye forum
I’m out !
This is not an extensive description of towns and villages but more of an overview of the Variante Espiritual from a history/culture aspect, which is the best I can do!
Variante Espiritual Highlights
Interesting story moreless what I mentioned in short in my comment.

It looks like the boatride has become a one hour during luxury river cruise.

In 2015 it was a fast ,bumpy, shocking , freezing unpleasant boatride .
I never understood what was spiritual about it.
 

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Albertinho

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Bye bye forum
I’m out !
Which reminds me of the old joke (slightly paraphrased):
Pilgrim to villager: "Can you tell me how I get to Santiago?"
Villager to Pilgrim: "Well, I wouldn't start from here"

And I didn't think I was walking in Portugal but I did think that the Camino Portugués was still the Camino Portugués after you cross into Galicia. Do I have that wrong?
The name of the camino indeed is called el camino Portugues in Galicia but that is all . Just a name because it leads from Portugal
But the Portuguese spirit you will find in Portugal because the Portuguese people make the Portuguese atmosphere.
Your question was about what you will encounter (cultural and historical) .
Well not much. An industrial area (a big car factory -Citroën - harbours etc .
Arriving in Santiago you will feel the culture and the history .
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
Your question was about what you will encounter (cultural and historical) .
Well not much. An industrial area (a big car factory -Citroën - harbours etc .
Arriving in Santiago you will feel the culture and the history .
That is a bit harsh Albertinho! As has been mentioned, Pontevedra has many highlights, plus the cultural and historical things that I mentioned in the linked post on the VE. Padrón has a connection to the apostle and is the home of the famous peppers. So there’s plenty for @MaxHelado to enjoy.

It’s true that Vigo is an unattractive city. Max, have you considered starting in Tui instead? It’s a great camino town and plenty of pilgrims start there so you will have people to meet. Ideas Peregrinas is a great place to stay there: it’s an albergue run by two friendly sisters who are passionate about Tui and the camino.

Bom caminho in any case!
 
Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
The OSMand app is GPS navigation app that allows you to download base maps of areas when you have wifi so you don't use data while walking. When you do download the basemap you are given some choices of versions of the map you want, for example, roads only or detailed. The detailed maps include trails so pilgrims will want that. However, while you are selecting your map, you will see that you can also download supplementary Wikipedia data. After downloading your basemap go back and also download the Wikipedia data. Now as you navigate with OSMand you will see icons with a W marking nearby locations. If you tap the icon you get to read the Wikipedia article for the place.

Santiago looks like this on OSMand with it configured to show Wikipedia articles (all languages):
Screenshot_20220522-070231.png
 
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Past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Let me add a bit more on the Wikiloc articles. Apparently there is a Philipino in my area of New England that is looking to be a highly rated contributer in the Cebuano version of Wikipedia. Many very short articles have been contributed there for local things like hills, cemeteries etc. that do not exist in any other Wikipedia languages, including English. So you won't always get what you expect.
 

Shades of Narnia

Sandi, Shades of Narnia
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis, 2014
Camino Portuguese 2015
Camino Francis, 2016 & Hospitalera in Viana Spain
(etc)
Interesting story moreless what I mentioned in short in my comment.

It looks like the boatride has become a one hour during luxury river cruise.

In 2015 it was a fast ,bumpy, shocking , freezing unpleasant boatride .
I never understood what was spiritual about it.
Thinking of bumpy shocking, freezing unpleasant boat rides reminds me of one famous one, outlined in a world renowned Book; the spiritual part being Who the passengers called upon for rescue.
 
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Charlie Davenport

New Member
Past OR future Camino
May 20- June 20, 2017
My first camino is imminent and I think I have the route and the accommodation pretty well planned. Anyway, I will soon find out!
What I am still missing is something that will tell me about the places, the history and the culture of the towns and villages I pass through.
I would like to avoid sharing supper with other pilgrims and discovering that I have walked past important/interesting places without even knowing it.
Most/all of the guidebooks I have seen are full of important information on where to stay and where to eat but light on places of interest.
Any ideas?
Search on Facebook @cillodavenportcamino2022 ... We finished last Friday. Porto to SdC Coastal, Coastal Litoral, Variante Espiritual, Central from Pedron in ..
 

MaxHelado

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués via Variante Espiritual 2022
That is a bit harsh Albertinho! As has been mentioned, Pontevedra has many highlights, plus the cultural and historical things that I mentioned in the linked post on the VE. Padrón has a connection to the apostle and is the home of the famous peppers. So there’s plenty for @MaxHelado to enjoy.

It’s true that Vigo is an unattractive city. Max, have you considered starting in Tui instead? It’s a great camino town and plenty of pilgrims start there so you will have people to meet. Ideas Peregrinas is a great place to stay there: it’s an albergue run by two friendly sisters who are passionate about Tui and the camino.

Bom caminho in any case!
Jungleboy, thank you for your positivity. It is much appreciated. My route is set and I will set out from Vigo a week from now. My Camino is short and I will be walking slowly and I have no doubt that many will judge me a pereguiri but, frankly, I don't care. I am not a walker, I am of advancing years and I feel called to do this short journey. Maybe the next one will be longer.

Don't worry, I will not be dissuaded by Albertinho's judgement on Vigo. It is not a pretty city (I have been there before) but I am sure that any city that has existed since the middle ages and suffered attacks from the Vikings, the British, the Turks and the French must bear the marks and memories somewhere in its streets.
 

MaxHelado

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués via Variante Espiritual 2022
The OSMand app is GPS navigation app that allows you to download base maps of areas when you have wifi so you don't use data while walking. When you do download the basemap you are given some choices of versions of the map you want, for example, roads only or detailed. The detailed maps include trails so pilgrims will want that. However, while you are selecting your map, you will see that you can also download supplementary Wikipedia data. After downloading your basemap go back and also download the Wikipedia data. Now as you navigate with OSMand you will see icons with a W marking nearby locations. If you tap the icon you get to read the Wikipedia article for the place.

Santiago looks like this on OSMand with it configured to show Wikipedia articles (all languages):
View attachment 126035
This looks great! Thanks for the link.
 
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Albertinho

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Bye bye forum
I’m out !
Jungleboy, thank you for your positivity. It is much appreciated. My route is set and I will set out from Vigo a week from now. My Camino is short and I will be walking slowly and I have no doubt that many will judge me a pereguiri but, frankly, I don't care. I am not a walker, I am of advancing years and I feel called to do this short journey. Maybe the next one will be longer.

Don't worry, I will not be dissuaded by Albertinho's judgement on Vigo. It is not a pretty city (I have been there before) but I am sure that any city that has existed since the middle ages and suffered attacks from the Vikings, the British, the Turks and the French must bear the marks and memories somewhere in its streets.
Anyway I wish you buen camino. Enjoy the Way , the scenery , people you’ll meet , the food ( mentioned were pimientos de Padron- grilled Padron Peppers with olive oil and sea salt , delicious) and your arrival in Santiago de Compostela where you will find all you wished. Culture and history. Do not forget to collect 2 stamps per day during the last 100 kilometers to Santiago . (Vigo is 100 kms to Santiago ! ) to obtain your Compostella certificate at the Pilgrims Office in Santiago.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
And I didn't think I was walking in Portugal but I did think that the Camino Portugués was still the Camino Portugués after you cross into Galicia. Do I have that wrong?
The Camino Francés is still the Francés regardless of your starting point because the route itself enters Spain from France. The same with the Camino portugués.
I am struggling to find this app. Can you give me any more information on the name of the App. I am using an iPhone so looking at ios apps.
Here you go

 

MaxHelado

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Portugués via Variante Espiritual 2022
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Friend from Barquinha

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
My first camino is imminent and I think I have the route and the accommodation pretty well planned. Anyway, I will soon find out!
What I am still missing is something that will tell me about the places, the history and the culture of the towns and villages I pass through.
I would like to avoid sharing supper with other pilgrims and discovering that I have walked past important/interesting places without even knowing it.
Most/all of the guidebooks I have seen are full of important information on where to stay and where to eat but light on places of interest.
Any ideas?
I was just looking up something about our town, and ran across this site. It covers most of the country, and if you look up "patrimonio" which = "heritage," you get a lot of the local sights and historical notes.

It's in Portuguese but fairly easy to navigate and with lots of pictures, and short notes that can be easily translated.

For example, this was using "Santarem" in the search function in the top right.


I find this one of the most user-friendly Portuguese tourism-related sites. Not too overwhelming with detail!

The eight logos on the left:

"Culture" "Beaches" "Leisure" "Lodging (mostly hotels)"
"Heritage" "Restaurants" "Shopping" "Nature"

Remember that beaches, for much of Portugal, includes what they call "River Beaches" as well as the ocean; the Portuguese really like to set up snackbars, umbrellas, lifeguards etc. along pleasant areas of the various rivers.
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
My first camino is imminent and I think I have the route and the accommodation pretty well planned. Anyway, I will soon find out!
What I am still missing is something that will tell me about the places, the history and the culture of the towns and villages I pass through.
I would like to avoid sharing supper with other pilgrims and discovering that I have walked past important/interesting places without even knowing it.
Most/all of the guidebooks I have seen are full of important information on where to stay and where to eat but light on places of interest.
Any ideas?
"The Camino Portuguese" by Kat Davis, published by Cicerone.co.uk, has more ofwhat you are asking about.
 
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