Hello, painters, and welcome to our regular voyages!
We are now leaving Portugal (home to most of my travel logs) and going north to Santiago de Compostela, the capital of Galicia, Spain. It is also a main pilgrimage destination in Europe and its route is called the Way of St. James, with the Scallop Shell being its emblem. The final destination of the pilgrims is the beautiful and imposing cathedral in the Old Town – a part of the city that was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.
I’ve been to Santiago a few times already, considering it’s such a renowned city and so close to Porto. The pictures above are from the journey itself: I usually have to make a stop in Valença, right before the border, and then cross River Minho. As you can see, it’s a beautiful trip, besides being very short. All in all, I’ve been there about 3 or 4 times and I can’t say I regret any of these excursions, since Santiago is an interesting and sweet place to be – despite all the rain!
The city is mostly devoted to cultural and particularly religious tourism, so the surrounding feeling is one of a city with rich and profound history, with a certain cultural mixture with all the pilgrims coming from so many different places. Like anywhere else in Galicia, your gastronomy choices can never go wrong with some seafood and you should never visit it without an umbrella! But all the historic architecture and lovely green sites are well worth the humidity and less sunny weather.
The flowers filling the windowpanes of random houses are also a lovely sight that typically embellishes this city. In conclusion, if you like green, water, history and architecture, as well as religious sites, there is nowhere else like Santiago. Galicia is a lovely, welcoming region, and as its capital, Santiago certainly does it justice. I would love to be able to cross the Way of St. James from Porto one day, since it’s such a gorgeous trip in the summer and it would be a fantastic reflective exercise. So if you like pilgrimages, consider this one and you’ll be able to take home a beautiful and honorable Scallop Shell to showcase and remember your journey!
I hope you enjoyed this post and that the pictures have done some justice to Santiago’s beauty. Have you have been to it or have considered going? Tell us in the comments!