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Warning for those who visit Santiago: you can not eat or drink in the Plaza del Obradoiro

Peter Fransiscus

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An interesting article about Santiago.

 
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MikeyC

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So far only warnings given and not fines according to the article. It also states that the purpose of the by-law is to avoid the lowering of the image of the historic site. I can imagine the image of the Council would also be significantly lowered if they start dishing out fines to weary pilgrims.
On the slippery slope that can be officialdom next will be a dress code for pilgrims to enter the square. One which I would almost certainly fail.
 

Tincatinker

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2012
A Godgle translation of the article for those that might appreciate it:

Two young people eating in front of the Cathedral
No sandwiches, no coffee. The City Council of Santiago de Compostela (A Coruña) does not allow eating or drinking in the Plaza del Obradoiro. It is not a new norm. But in recent days the Local Police is warning tourists about it.

There are so many people who are concentrated these days in what is the square with the most history in the city that surveillance has been intensified. The norm does not allow snacks or sandwiches or even fruit. In fact, these days the agents have come to warn a woman who was tasting an apple while contemplating the Cathedral.

The ultimate goal is that the square does not become an area in which to have picnics or drinks, deteriorating the image of the space and of a monument that is a World Heritage Site. The consumption of drinks and food is, in fact, prohibited throughout the city as long as "the action of consumption can deteriorate the tranquility of the environment or cause unhealthy situations in it", according to the ordinance of coexistence, waste and street cleaning .

The fine faced by those who do not comply with the regulations is 200 euros (100 if paid in advance).

Police sources assure that at the moment they have dedicated themselves solely to advising visitors that this municipal regulation exists and that they must comply with it. At the moment, no sanction has been processed for this. In the square there are no signs warning of this prohibition. For this reason, many visitors are surprised when they are told that they cannot eat or have a snack in the square.

Other cities already do [this] Santiago follows, in this way, the path of other European cities such as Rome. In this Italian city, eating near the most outstanding historical monuments can lead to fines of between 25 and 500 euros.

Florence is another of the cities that also vetoes meals in its historic center. In 2018, a regulation was approved there that contemplates fines of up to 500 euros for tourists who eat and drink on the street. The mayor of the city said then that, with this formula, he sought to put an end to "rude" tourists and encourage consumption in the city's restaurants.


Students of the arcane might like to note that the fine may be paid in advance of the offence. Presumably this amounts to a €100 fee to picnic in the square.

Students of law might like to recall the statute that forbids "the permission of a wheeled vehicle on any pavement" applicable, still, in the City of Winchester UK and a constant conundrum for the local traffic police.

Students of modern media may like to consider whether this is just another bit of click-bait.
 
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Anamiri

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Thank you @Peter Fransiscus, for posting this to let us know that we will be breaking the law by defacing that hallowed place by drinking or eating something something.
Now about those stupid little white trains, and the vendors of kitsch...
🤬
And that the fact that the tourists see us (the pilgrims) as part of the general tourist spectacle.

As I sat on the stones in front of the cathedral a woman tourist walked up, stuck her camera right in my face, telling her husband - here's a real pilgrim. And was miffed to find I understood english, and put my hand up to cover her lens, as I asked her to please stop. No thankyou. I didnt want to be a close-up in their holiday snaps.
 

Corned Beef

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If you want to do your own spot checking on Picnics in the Praza, you can check the webcam. Surprisingly clear images.

 
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If you want to do your own spot checking on Picnics in the Praza, you can check the webcam. Surprisingly clear images.

I saw a pigeon eating, does that count?
 

Anamiri

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And that the fact that the tourists see us (the pilgrims) as part of the general tourist spectacle.

As I sat on the stones in front of the cathedral a woman tourist walked up, stuck her camera right in my face, telling her husband - here's a real pilgrim. And was miffed to find I understood english, and put my hand up to cover her lens, as I asked her to please stop. No thankyou. I didnt want to be a close-up in their holiday snaps.
Maybe she arrived on the white train
 
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Kanga

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The more things change the more they stay the same. I was taught as a child that it was rude to eat in the street. Where I went to school the rule was the same - no eating in the street in school uniform. I have no idea why.
 

StuartM

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Camino Frances (2012)
The mayor of the city said then that, with this formula, he sought to put an end to "rude" tourists and encourage consumption in the city's restaurants
I think the mayor of Florence may be on to something.

I don't particularly remember anyone picnicing in the square. I'm sure it must happen but certainly when I was last there it wasn't something either particularly noticeable or that was bringing down the ambience of the place.

I'm a natural cynic and some wrong-headed drive to get people into city centre restaurants was my first thought when I read it. After the last couple of years and impending recession you can't really blame the city for wanting to protect their businesses but this seems like a very cynical and unwelcoming way of going about it. In fact, it kind of sends the opposite message. It's the finish line for what is often a massive undertaking for most people, if you're going to be that unwelcoming then maybe continuing on to the coast is more appealing.
 

Marbe2

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I think the mayor of Florence may be on to something.

I don't particularly remember anyone picnicing in the square. I'm sure it must happen but certainly when I was last there it wasn't something either particularly noticeable or that was bringing down the ambience of the place.

I'm a natural cynic and some wrong-headed drive to get people into city centre restaurants was my first thought when I read it. After the last couple of years and impending recession you can't really blame the city for wanting to protect their businesses but this seems like a very cynical and unwelcoming way of going about it. In fact, it kind of sends the opposite message. It's the finish line for what is often a massive undertaking for most people, if you're going to be that unwelcoming then maybe continuing on to the coast is more appealing.
So what happens to all the gelato shop owners selling ice cream outdoors?
 
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Now about those stupid little white trains, and the vendors of kitsch...
I've never noticed the eating, nor paid any attention to it, but like you @VNwalking, the white trains immediately came to my mind, too. Also, what about the other large tour groups wearing their bright color matching hats and T-shirts, which seems to take away from what the City Council is trying to accomplish.
 
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As I sat on the stones in front of the cathedral a woman tourist walked up, stuck her camera right in my face, telling her husband - here's a real pilgrim.
Well, most of us do have a certain type of "look" when we first straggle in...a bit homeless perhaps. You could have pointed your phone back at her and asked if you could take a picture...possibly she was wearing a tourist yellow hat and T-shirt. 😅
 

tjb1013

Active Member
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Frances (2017)
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In fact, these days the agents have come to warn a woman who was tasting an apple while contemplating the Cathedral.
It could be that this triggered images of the fall of man, and that’s what kicked off the enforcement binge.

By the way, it must be a European tradition to enable paying fines in advance: it happened to me in Paris after my first Camino when I was unable to figure out how to validate a bus ticket and the gendarmes pounced on me. In the US, that is typically seen as a shakedown by corrupt officers.
 
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I happened to stumble across a Twitter thread that may put this news article in a different context. The poster is @elbarroquista. I recognised the name from some time ago because he is an art historian and I had read some very interesting tweets by him about art and works of art. I did not know that he lives in Santiago.

If interested you can easily find the thread/comments about ciertos grupos masivos de "peregrinos" con su juerga constante - certain massive groups of "pilgrims" with their constant revelry and noise and that the inhabitants complain about this on social media networks - and that these inhabitants get ridiculed and discredited for it. He does not only mention the noise but also new "customs". Quote: It is not only the noise (as if you are on a festival site and not in a town) or new "customs" such as going to eat and sleep (!) in the middle of Plaza del Obradoiro.

He also says, among other things, that he is a member of a Camino association and that they constantly receive complaints from pilgrims, especially international ones, about this unbearable revelry and behaviour of other pilgrims. He also mentions a cry "A por el bote, oé" (Go for the boat, hey) that has apparently become popular with these mega pilgrims groups. Anyone heard it? Quote: Apparently, "Go for the boat, hey" is a new kind of prayer ... because it's the third time this week that I've heard it shouted by these massive groups of Camino walkers. And my patio does not directly overlook the Camino, so there must be large groups and they must shout loudly.

He also thinks that more and more inhabitants are fleeing Santiago because of too many visitors or because they can no longer compete with tourist businesses in terms of rents.
 
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padre eric

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Completed the Porto to Santiago camino in June. Arrived to demonstrators banging on empty jugs and blaring loud horns for hours on end (they always seems to stop during Mass hours) located in front of the Parador. Sat at an outdoor cafe to eat lunch and was literally approached at my table by three different people asking for money. And the city is concerned about image when a pilgrim or anyone eats a piece of fruit or drinks a beverage in the square? Give me a break. Needless to say our last stop on this camino was disheartening and disappointing. We love the camino, but from this time forward, we will simply transit through the city and make the coast our place of prayer and meditation.
 
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Wow! I haven't looked at the Webcam for a few years. The clarity of the images are so much better!!
I have looked at the three webcams (Orbadoiro, Praterias and Quintana) from time to time in recent weeks. And I have looked at it today around (local) midday: the square was massively filled with people, I have never seen anything like this before. August crowds in Santiago I guess ... and maybe also due to additional influx because of the current PEJ 2022 event.
 
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I have looked at the three webcams (Orbadoiro, Praterias and Quintana) from time to time in recent weeks. And I have looked at it this afternoon: the square was massively filled with people, I have never seen anything like this before. August crowds in Santiago I guess ... maybe also due to additional influx because of the current PEJ 2022 event.
Thank you! That answers my question! The European Youth Pilgrimage. I wondered - a stage set up, barriers and large groups of young people in purple t-shirts. Hope they don't pull out a snack :)
 
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Happened to us in 2016. A Camino friend who arrived the day before, met us in the square with surprise snacks. We were very surprised to be threatened with a fine.
 
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Leemac40

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Sarria to Santiago
If you want to do your own spot checking on Picnics in the Praza, you can check the webcam. Surprisingly clear images.

Absolutely love this, what's going on today? Looks interesting 🤔
 

C clearly

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Most years since 2012
I think it is quite reasonable to have this law - to reduce litter and prevent the square from becoming a park for all-day picnicking and even camping. Of course, the enforcement is a matter of judgement. Perhaps in the preparation for the large crowds of the Youth Pilgrimage, or just as a reminder to all, the authorities decided to step up the warnings.
 

t2andreo

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Time of past OR future Camino
2022
So, if a pilgrim arrives, tired, hungry, thirsty from their walk, they can be fined for pulling out their water bottle and a granola bar or banana from their backpack? Is that a joke?
Technically, that is the law. NO eating or drinking in the Plaza Obradoiro.

Actually, it is a long standing law, but was only enforced recently - because too many people were having full-blown picnics and BYOB / food parties in the plaza, or the shady arcades of the Concello building opposite the Cathedral.

Basically, the few ruined it for the many. This said, I rather doubt the police are going to hassle someone for casual drinking or eating something simple, especially while on foot, and with a mochila on their back.

But once you stop, remove your pack, and get comfortable, THEN, they are more likely to law down the law.

For what it is worth, I agree with application of this long-standing law. Santiago and the Camino are UNESCO World Heritage sites. They must be kept in pristine condition. This is a minor inconvenience to aid in that effort.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 

good_old_shoes

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This rule may seem like overreach to some, but shouldn't we be respectful of the city that welcomes us?
To be honest, I don't see how an exhausted pilgrim sitting in the plaza for a moment and taking a sip of water and eating a granola bar is disrespecting the city of Santiago. Tourists making phone calls, loudly, while walking through the cathedral during mass, maybe. Nobody cared about that the last times I was there...

I'm from a country where we really like to follow rules, but this no eating/drinking
at all
rule sounds silly even to me. No big group picknicks makes sense, prohibiting  any eating/drinking in the city apart from doing it in a restaurant/bar/café/ect is simply a way to force people to spend more money (which most will do anyway).

Eating and drinking are basic human needs. If you're not allowed to even drink some water, that is not something I will ever understand (even if they are maybe not enforcing it in such 'minor' cases).
 
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trecile

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To be honest, I don't see how an exhausted pilgrim sitting in the plaza for a moment and taking a sip of water and eating a granola bar is disrespecting the city of Santiago. Tourists making phone calls, loudly, while walking through the cathedral during mass, maybe. Nobody cared about that the last times I was there...

I'm from a country where we really like to follow rules, but this no eating/drinking
at all
rule sounds silly even to me. No big group picknicks makes sense, prohibiting  any eating/drinking in the city apart from doing it in a restaurant/bar/café/ect is simply a way to force people to spend more money (which most will do anyway).

Eating and drinking are basic human needs. If you're not allowed to even drink some water, that is not something I will ever understand (even if they are maybe not enforcing it in such 'minor' cases).
I very much doubt that they will bother someone having a drink of water on the plaza.
I'm sure that it's the full picnics and associated litter that they are wanting to discourage.
 

Marbe2

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2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
This rule may seem like overreach to some, but shouldn't we be respectful of the city that welcomes us?
I have seen younger folks sitting around in circles in this area eating a picnic lunch. An hour later we walked through and they were still sitting there. I can understand the city not wanting too many groups to take up space, lingering, sleeping eating and drinking in the square.

However, no one should prohibit the drinking of water anywhere! People sometimes need it for health reasons, even in Church!

It also would make no sense to me to buy an ice cream cone from an outdoor vendor two blocks from the square and then on the the way to the accommodation be fined for eating the cone because one is passing through this area? The same goes for a woman eating an apple as she looked at a building. Religion and culture gone awry!
 

Tincatinker

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Time of past OR future Camino
2012
Drinking in the street or any public space is unlawful in my town. Try explaining that to the consumers sitting at the tables spilling out onto the pavement tables & benches outside all the cafes, pubs and bars on all our commercial streets or the office worker lunch-timers sitting in the church yard or on the beach.

Councils make regulations to try to restrict the behaviour of certain social groups - feckless youths on their second bottle of strong cider by 10:00am; the "street people", me ;). But of course you can't make a law that only applies to "certain" people so the law applies to all. Whether its applied or not.

Taking a swig from your water bottle in the Praza is unlikely to cost you €200 but cracking out the tinnies and sparking up the barbie...
 

Vacajoe

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Having been such an eating and drinking scofflaw there in the past without fines and repercussions, I’m thinking this sudden enforcement is more likely the result of both the Holy Year and the Youth Conference.
 
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Bogong

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Some years back I spent a week in Toledo, Spain’s so-called other magical city. Loads of tourists and visitors. Walking early morning before the crowds was a treat,The Plaza was spotless, almost as if it had been burnished overnight. However, an hour or so before this ie at first light, it was a totally different story. Garbage everywhere, discarded drink bottles and cans, discarded food wrappers, some with the remains of food, wrappings ripped off purchased gifts, even signs of defecation. There were teams of workers with huge hoses trying to clean things up. Before “we” complain that restrictions on eating and drinking in public places are an infringement on our personal liberties, remember that not everyone is like “us”.

De colores

Bogong
 
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To be honest, I don't see how an exhausted pilgrim sitting in the plaza for a moment and taking a sip of water and eating a granola bar is disrespecting the city of Santiago. Tourists making phone calls, loudly, while walking through the cathedral during mass, maybe. Nobody cared about that the last times I was there...

I'm from a country where we really like to follow rules, but this no eating/drinking
at all
rule sounds silly even to me. No big group picknicks makes sense, prohibiting  any eating/drinking in the city apart from doing it in a restaurant/bar/café/ect is simply a way to force people to spend more money (which most will do anyway).

Eating and drinking are basic human needs. If you're not allowed to even drink some water, that is not something I will ever understand (even if they are maybe not enforcing it in such 'minor' cases).
I suspect the leaving of litter, as seems to be the habit of many "pilgrims" led to this - though I could be wrong. Generally, the bad behavior of a few ruin things for the rest of us. That has been my personal experience on my last Camino, anyway... ::🤷::

I think it's a good law - and even if I didn't, it's not my country, and so I'll obey it.
 

LesR

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
An interesting article about Santiago.

An inevitable consequence of takeaway food is litter - so I really do not mind the reported ban on eating and drinking in the Plaza - entirely reasonable IMHO...

I would far rather have a clean plaza to celebrate the achievement of one's pilgrimage than have to stand knee deep in discarded food scraps, wrappers, drink cans and bottles, etc.

Small sacrifice...
 
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JabbaPapa

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I've always felt that this was the case, but then I grew up in a tourist trap, so I guess I just know the ropes.

If it's discrete and stuff, people probably won't be bothered, unless there's some particular reason for more of a crackdown than usual. Just don't eat or drink in the Cathedral !!
 

Teresa8

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Celtic Camino
A Godgle translation of the article for those that might appreciate it:

Two young people eating in front of the Cathedral
No sandwiches, no coffee. The City Council of Santiago de Compostela (A Coruña) does not allow eating or drinking in the Plaza del Obradoiro. It is not a new norm. But in recent days the Local Police is warning tourists about it.

There are so many people who are concentrated these days in what is the square with the most history in the city that surveillance has been intensified. The norm does not allow snacks or sandwiches or even fruit. In fact, these days the agents have come to warn a woman who was tasting an apple while contemplating the Cathedral.

The ultimate goal is that the square does not become an area in which to have picnics or drinks, deteriorating the image of the space and of a monument that is a World Heritage Site. The consumption of drinks and food is, in fact, prohibited throughout the city as long as "the action of consumption can deteriorate the tranquility of the environment or cause unhealthy situations in it", according to the ordinance of coexistence, waste and street cleaning .

The fine faced by those who do not comply with the regulations is 200 euros (100 if paid in advance).

Police sources assure that at the moment they have dedicated themselves solely to advising visitors that this municipal regulation exists and that they must comply with it. At the moment, no sanction has been processed for this. In the square there are no signs warning of this prohibition. For this reason, many visitors are surprised when they are told that they cannot eat or have a snack in the square.

Other cities already do [this] Santiago follows, in this way, the path of other European cities such as Rome. In this Italian city, eating near the most outstanding historical monuments can lead to fines of between 25 and 500 euros.

Florence is another of the cities that also vetoes meals in its historic center. In 2018, a regulation was approved there that contemplates fines of up to 500 euros for tourists who eat and drink on the street. The mayor of the city said then that, with this formula, he sought to put an end to "rude" tourists and encourage consumption in the city's restaurants.


Students of the arcane might like to note that the fine may be paid in advance of the offence. Presumably this amounts to a €100 fee to picnic in the square.

Students of law might like to recall the statute that forbids "the permission of a wheeled vehicle on any pavement" applicable, still, in the City of Winchester UK and a constant conundrum for the local traffic police.

Students of modern media may like to consider whether this is just another bit of click-bait.
Thankyou for this explanation. As pilgrims, tourists or travellers it is good to be aware of local cultural norms and to respect them.
 
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The norm does not allow snacks or sandwiches or even fruit. In fact, these days the agents have come to warn a woman who was tasting an apple while contemplating the Cathedral.
I don't believe this for a second to be accurate reporting. I tend to think that the writer of the NIUS article embellished the story a bit as it is rather boring: Police organised an information campaign recently to inform pilgrims and other tourists as well as the wider public (thanks to media reports about the campaign) about local laws in order to prevent things from getting worse. That happened a few days ago.

One cursory look at the news media that are closer to events, like El Correo Gallego, and you learn that already a few weeks ago, the issue was raised in local politics and there have even been denuncias - complaints had been filed with the police about what's going on on the praza do Obradoiro and in the galleries of the Raxoi building. They are trying to curb the worst excesses of visitors to Santiago. I very much doubt that they are aiming to prevent pilgrims from sipping from their water bottles or tourists from eating an apple or to channel business into restaurants and bars.

(New complaints about touristic picnics with views of the Cathedral)
Picnis turísticos.jpg
 
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Santiago de Compostela has 98.000 inhabitants. According to the latest data from the Spanish National Statistics Office, the town had 83.000 visitors in June 2022. The resulting pressures on the locals, seen in relation to the town's population, are higher than in cities like Barcelona, Granada, or Sevilla. The source for this is a news article published yesterday: Sky-high rents, chanting at all hours [some of it praising Jesus], horses in the churches: tourism overflows Santiago and puts a strain on locals [in Spanish]. The article contains this somewhat unusual image:

Pilgrimbusters.jpg
 

JesperK

New Member
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I've never thought about that. Just in May this year as I was sitting on the concrete "benches" to the side of the square - I was both smoking, drinking and eating - there was a police car right next to me - and not a word. Maybe because I cleaned up after myself.
 

Jeff Crawley

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Venice has been like this for years. You can eat a (very expensive) ice cream at a restaurant table in the Piazza San Marco but you can't walk through the square eating one.
 
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Hola, I think I can understand the City Council reasoning in relation to rubbish and glass being left across the square. When I arrived in both 2015 and 2017 I made my way to the central Camino marker. Put down my pack and pull out my (plastic) water bottle. It was hot and I needed a drink. Must have been my lucky day. My other observations, I have strong memories of the fountain (at the end of casas animas) of both pilgrims and apparently tourist buying and consuming food and drink whilst sitting around the fountain.
 
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Happened to us in 2016. A Camino friend who arrived the day before, met us in the square with surprise snacks. We were very surprised to be threatened with a fine.
That's interesting. It's the first time that I hear this. It would never have occurred to me to organise or participate in a welcome party on the Praza do Obradoiro with snacks and drinks 😎 but apparently it isn't such a novel idea. It must have gotten worse in recent months, and apparently there have been complaints not only by local politicians/political parties but also by groups of inhabitants, in particular in the San Pedro area of Santiago where the masses of pilgrims from the Camino Frances enter the town, and in particular large groups that are noisy and/or exuberant.

A local association even drew up a poster with a decalógo de boas practicas para o tramo final do Camiño - good practices for pilgrims on the last stage of the Camino - which is doing the rounds on social media and news media - see copy below. Has anyone seen it on their way into Santiago? It is written in Galician so won't reach many international pilgrims but they may not be the main target group anyway. Much of it will resonate with long-distance pilgrims who are making the same observations or have the same complaints or grumblings when they reach Sarria.

IMG_1033.JPG
 

Corned Beef

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VDLP Part 2/2023
in particular large groups that are noisy and/or exuberant.

Alternatively, if you wish to be noisy and exuberant do it with a bit of style. Traditional dress and bring your own piper.

Last October in the Praza.
 

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Alternatively, if you wish to be noisy and exuberant do it with a bit of style. Traditional dress and bring your own piper.
Last October in the Praza.
Lovely. But to be fair, they don't object to the occasional noise. They object to the daily noise. :cool:
 
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A local association even drew up a poster with a decalógo de boas practicas para o tramo final do Camiño - good practices for pilgrims on the last stage of the Camino
Last paragraph on the poster [translated from Galician]

And no, gathering and piling up pebbles has never been a tradition in Santiago de Compostela, nor leaving walking poles anywhere and everywhere, nor hanging up things like facemasks or shoes in trees, nor getting accustomed to putting up chains of eternal love or having a picnic in the Plaza del Obradoiro.

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2023 Camino Guides
The 2023 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

FourSeasons

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2013, 2016, 2019 ---- the next is a mystery.
August 15, 2019 I finally made it to Santiago. On my way to the Plaza with treat in hand. I’m sorry I had no idea. Honestly, I don’t think anyone else did either. 🤷🏻‍♀️
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MikeyC

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF - September 2016
CF - April May 2017
Shikoku - October 2017
Kumano Kodo - October 2017
CF - 2019
An inevitable consequence of takeaway food is litter
It certainly is in the UK as well but it shouldn't be inevitable. It is really a cultural or educational issue.
On the Shikoku 88 over 10 days I think we saw two pieces of litter. Maybe we need a few "henro" (Japanese pilgrim) on the Camino. Their football fans certainly set an example when they travel.

 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
On the Shikoku 88 over 10 days I think we saw two pieces of litter. Maybe we need a few "henro" (Japanese pilgrim) on the Camino.
Japanese Sushi restaurants are often known for their impeccable cleanliness, both in the kitchen and behind the counter, to provide the best possible experience to their customers.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
I don't think I've ever eaten or drank in the plaza. Never really thought about it. I might have, not sure. Anyway, I can see why it would be discouraged. There's always the bad apples.
 
Pocket guides that pack a punch
1.4 oz (40g) pocket guides with gems of wisdom to ponder during and after your Camino

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Santiago de Compostela has 98.000 inhabitants. According to the latest data from the Spanish National Statistics Office, the town had 83.000 visitors in June 2022. The resulting pressures on the locals, seen in relation to the town's population, are higher than in cities like Barcelona, Granada, or Sevilla. The source for this is a news article published yesterday: Sky-high rents, chanting at all hours [some of it praising Jesus], horses in the churches: tourism overflows Santiago and puts a strain on locals [in Spanish]. The article contains this somewhat unusual image:

View attachment 130539
Circa a year ago, SdC and those with establishments along the camino were desperate and longing for pilgrims. And now that they are coming…..?
 

ChappyNS

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances completed 2 July 2022
I popped a bottle of champagne at the finish in front of the Cathedral and several of us drank from it merrily. We had just completed a 800 km walk and we earned it. No one cared, nor should they.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I popped a bottle of champagne at the finish in front of the Cathedral and several of us drank from it merrily. We had just completed a 800 km walk and we earned it. No one cared, nor should they.
I wonder what it would look like if every pilgrim decided to pop a cork or open a beer on the plaza?
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.

pasiño a pasiño

sin dolor no hay gloria
Time of past OR future Camino
2018 Via de la Plata | next Francés again....
I think it is quite reasonable to have this law - to reduce litter and prevent the square from becoming a park for all-day picnicking and even camping. Of course, the enforcement is a matter of judgement. Perhaps in the preparation for the large crowds of the Youth Pilgrimage, or just as a reminder to all, the authorities decided to step up the warnings.
as if this law serves as a prevention against littering -- lol... and still the street cleaners have to work every night!
laws like this have anyway the opposite effect.
If I am thirsty I drink, everywhere at any time. Pathetic -- the authority can't forbid me consuming water on the streets! Cigarettes and Alcohol I don't care but for heaven sake not water!!!!
 

gypsy9

Active Member
Yes, it all sounds somewhat embellished for further drama; and in the spirit of, Big Brother...
Thou shalt not eat nor drink!

Humans are wired to be free.
This is the essence of pilgrimage. Many willingly jump on an illogical bandwagon to follow, obey and bow down to more rules and restrictions.
I am not endorsing a disrespectful attitude when in the world heritage city of Santiago de Compostela. Not at all. Be courteous. Be joyful. Have a sip of water and a granola bar!
Be pilgrims.
 

CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
And that the fact that the tourists see us (the pilgrims) as part of the general tourist spectacle.

As I sat on the stones in front of the cathedral a woman tourist walked up, stuck her camera right in my face, telling her husband - here's a real pilgrim. And was miffed to find I understood english, and put my hand up to cover her lens, as I asked her to please stop. No thankyou. I didnt want to be a close-up in their holiday snaps.
Yup. Definitely brings up memories of the times I was involved in ACW LH/Re-enactment.
Cant even BEGIN to tell you how many time cameras (sometimes with flash on full force) were literally stuck in my face or how many times I was prodded or pinched (just to see "if I am real")
🤬
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
Yup. Definitely brings up memories of the times I was involved in ACW LH/Re-enactment.
Cant even BEGIN to tell you how many time cameras (sometimes with flash on full force) were literally stuck in my face or how many times I was prodded or pinched (just to see "if I am real")
🤬
CW, I've seen a picture of you in your re-enactment clothing garb. You definitely looked real...I can see why they pinched you in person.😅
 
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
I was always amazed on the Camino in the larger cities to see the street sweepers/cleaner machines out every morning early...totally awesome!
I don't live in a big US city, but wonder if we do that too, every early morn.🤔
Chrissy - it was one of the things that firmly stuck in my head as I was walking; in fact I mentioned it to my wife during one of our chats before she met me in Santiago.
Yes we do have street sweepers\cleaning machines in US big cities but to my best knowledge that extends (or rather is contained) to downtown proper, so.... :(

On the other hand - the land mines in the little villages would definitely benefit from those cleaner machines ;)
 
Camino Cleanup Program & Retreat
Help keep the Camino clean. Join us May 2023.

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
I don't know what a "land mine" is, but assume there is some humor in your post.😁
In 1943/44 during the advance through Italy the Allies manufactured explosive landmines shaped to look like mule or cow droppings and these were sprinkled liberally on roads the retreating Germans used.
The real things were safe to drive over in a truck, the fakes were not.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
An interesting article about Santiago.

Mentioned this to a fellow Pilgrim and she came back with:

🎼If you're going to Santiago
Be sure not to eat
Bocodillos in the Square.
If you're eating in Santiago
You're gonna get
A hefty fine right there.🎵

(with, she says, apologies to Scott McKenzie)
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I was always amazed on the Camino in the larger cities to see the street sweepers/cleaner machines out every morning early...totally awesome!
I don't live in a big US city, but wonder if we do that too, every early morn.🤔

They do in Manhatten
 
How to Successfully Prepare for Your Camino
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.

LesR

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017, 2018; Camino Portuguese 2019
Chrissy - it was one of the things that firmly stuck in my head as I was walking; in fact I mentioned it to my wife during one of our chats before she met me in Santiago.
Yes we do have street sweepers\cleaning machines in US big cities but to my best knowledge that extends (or rather is contained) to downtown proper, so.... :(

On the other hand - the land mines in the little villages would definitely benefit from those cleaner machines ;)
Hey - we do walk through agricultural landscapes and must be respectful of agricultural practices from generations past, rater than expect the cows to be responsible for the cleaniless of pilgrims... If pilgrims could only raise their eyes from their smartphone, they might avoid these deposits and everyone will be that much happier...
 

CWBuff

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances May-June/2022
Finisterre June-July/2022
Hey - we do walk through agricultural landscapes and must be respectful of agricultural practices from generations past, rater than expect the cows to be responsible for the cleaniless of pilgrims... If pilgrims could only raise their eyes from their smartphone, they might avoid these deposits and everyone will be that much happier...
No disrespect was intended for Camino cows and I meant it tongue-in-cheek which is why there is a winking emoji
Rest be assured at no point of my walk were my eyes glued to smartphone which allowed me to safely navigate said agricultural landscaping mines 🤣
 

Elena1111

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I did the Primitivo last year. That was the first camino. Now I am planning to do the camino again, again the Primitivo but this time solo. My very first time to do the camino solo
A Godgle translation of the article for those that might appreciate it:

Two young people eating in front of the Cathedral
No sandwiches, no coffee. The City Council of Santiago de Compostela (A Coruña) does not allow eating or drinking in the Plaza del Obradoiro. It is not a new norm. But in recent days the Local Police is warning tourists about it.

There are so many people who are concentrated these days in what is the square with the most history in the city that surveillance has been intensified. The norm does not allow snacks or sandwiches or even fruit. In fact, these days the agents have come to warn a woman who was tasting an apple while contemplating the Cathedral.

The ultimate goal is that the square does not become an area in which to have picnics or drinks, deteriorating the image of the space and of a monument that is a World Heritage Site. The consumption of drinks and food is, in fact, prohibited throughout the city as long as "the action of consumption can deteriorate the tranquility of the environment or cause unhealthy situations in it", according to the ordinance of coexistence, waste and street cleaning .

The fine faced by those who do not comply with the regulations is 200 euros (100 if paid in advance).

Police sources assure that at the moment they have dedicated themselves solely to advising visitors that this municipal regulation exists and that they must comply with it. At the moment, no sanction has been processed for this. In the square there are no signs warning of this prohibition. For this reason, many visitors are surprised when they are told that they cannot eat or have a snack in the square.

Other cities already do [this] Santiago follows, in this way, the path of other European cities such as Rome. In this Italian city, eating near the most outstanding historical monuments can lead to fines of between 25 and 500 euros.

Florence is another of the cities that also vetoes meals in its historic center. In 2018, a regulation was approved there that contemplates fines of up to 500 euros for tourists who eat and drink on the street. The mayor of the city said then that, with this formula, he sought to put an end to "rude" tourists and encourage consumption in the city's restaurants.


Students of the arcane might like to note that the fine may be paid in advance of the offence. Presumably this amounts to a €100 fee to picnic in the square.

Students of law might like to recall the statute that forbids "the permission of a wheeled vehicle on any pavement" applicable, still, in the City of Winchester UK and a constant conundrum for the local traffic police.

Students of modern media may like to consider whether this is just another bit of click-bait.
I start from the bottom: Florence is another story altogether. Santiago is a different environment, first is MOSTLY full of pilgrims, second Plaza do Obradoiro has always been a happy, vibrant place with lots of magic and good vibes.
If they want to regiment la Plaza and give fines, well as a foreigner I will not pay since there are no agreements with Spain and other states for administrative sanctions (only the obvious criminal, fiscal and road code) HENCE they cannot enforce it! Second no chance they will ever see me again there, I was there as a pilgrim 5 times and I brought enough money to Spain to put up with something so ludicrous.
The Plaza has always been full of people laughing, talking, drinking and eating and never once the place was dirty or run down or somewhat unpleasant to be in.
 

Elena1111

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I did the Primitivo last year. That was the first camino. Now I am planning to do the camino again, again the Primitivo but this time solo. My very first time to do the camino solo
I start from the bottom: Florence is another story altogether. Santiago is a different environment, first is MOSTLY full of pilgrims, second Plaza do Obradoiro has always been a happy, vibrant place with lots of magic and good vibes.
If they want to regiment la Plaza and give fines, well as a foreigner I will not pay since there are no agreements with Spain and other states for administrative sanctions (only the obvious criminal, fiscal and road code) HENCE they cannot enforce it! Second no chance they will ever see me again there, I was there as a pilgrim 5 times and I brought enough money to Spain to put up with something so ludicrous.
The Plaza has always been full of people laughing, talking, drinking and eating and never once the place was dirty or run down or somewhat unpleasant to be in.
Drinking in the street or any public space is unlawful in my town. Try explaining that to the consumers sitting at the tables spilling out onto the pavement tables & benches outside all the cafes, pubs and bars on all our commercial streets or the office worker lunch-timers sitting in the church yard or on the beach.

Councils make regulations to try to restrict the behaviour of certain social groups - feckless youths on their second bottle of strong cider by 10:00am; the "street people", me ;). But of course you can't make a law that only applies to "certain" people so the law applies to all. Whether its applied or not.

Taking a swig from your water bottle in the Praza is unlikely to cost you €200 but cracking out the tinnies and sparking up the barbie...
I have seen younger folks sitting around in circles in this area eating a picnic lunch. An hour later we walked through and they were still sitting there. I can understand the city not wanting too many groups to take up space, lingering, sleeping eating and drinking in the square.

However, no one should prohibit the drinking of water anywhere! People sometimes need it for health reasons, even in Church!

It also would make no sense to me to buy an ice cream cone from an outdoor vendor two blocks from the square and then on the the way to the accommodation be fined for eating the cone because one is passing through this area? The same goes for a woman eating an apple as she looked at a building. Religion and culture gone awry!
Nobody is sleeping in the square, yes, many groups there meeting over and over again and lingering and then going each their own way. It has never been a problem. Why should it be it now?
 
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