The Camino de Santiago is an ancient pilgrimage that can begin in many places on different continents, but always leads to Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in Galicia, Spain. The shrine of Santiago which is at the center of the cathedral supposedly holds the relics of Saint James the Great, one of Jesus' 12 apostles. It has been a major Roman Catholic pilgrimage destination since the ninth century. The Camino's popularity has resurged since the 1960s as a trekking route.
In spring 2018 my companion and I walked from St. Jean Pied de Porte in France, over the Pyrenees and across the northern part of Spain to complete this pilgrimage. Not because we are particularly religious, but as a means to experience more intimately one of the oldest and most complex cultures of Europe, as an opportunity to turn some quiet attention inwards, and as a physical challenge.
The traditional Camino route begins here, just across the border in France
A statue of Santiago – Saint James – at the church in Roncesvalles, the first city in Spain after crossing the Pyrenees
A series of sculptures cap the top of the first large hill after leaving Pamplona