There’s a French route, a Pilgrim’s way from Madrid, from the Mediterranean and Catalonia. There’s a Silver Way, a Coastal Way and a Primitive Way. You can hike, bike or horseback ride the way. You can carry your own backpack or choose a service to to that for you. There are thousands of ways to getting there, but only one destination.
Santiago de Compostela; The final destination. For many peregrinos – pilgrims – both a sweet and sad destination.
Sweet, because it symbolises the culmination of many hundred kilometres of endurance, of pain, of blisters, sweat and tears.
Sad, because you leave behind an old chapter of your life and begin a new. You have to let go of the things, that made you walk the camino in the first place. And all goodbyes are hard.
It is only fitting, that such a symbolic cathedral, oozing with history, provides the setting for the turning of a chapter in your life.
As a pilgrim, you can continue westwards, to Finisterra, for a ritual burning of clothes at the shores of the End of the World. Or you can turn eastwards, to new experiences.
North of Santiago de Compostela lies the rugged coast of Galicia with wonderful seafood, and east of here, cities like Bilbao and San Sebastián are pearls of the Basque region, which promise new adventures.
Because it’s when we reach our destination, that we discover, that is wasn’t about the destination at all. It was about the journey – and that never has to end!