Barcelona October 17

We took a tour of the Gothic District, the oldest neighborhood in Barcelona.

These are two thousand year old Roman tombs.

We walked to the beach, built with desert sand from Egypt for the 1992 Olympics. It was nice to feel the cool Mediterranean water.

This sculpture represents a human tower. Building these towers is apparently unique to this region.

My last stop was Parc Guell, meant to be a housing development designed by Gaudi. Only two homes were built. His work is so whimsical; it feels happy.

Erika has eight more days packed with fun explorations in Spain. I’m never a great tourist after a camino so I’m heading to Ohio tomorrow.



Barcelona October 16

We flew to Barcelona today. It is a beautiful city.

Gaudi began work on the Sagrada Familia in 1882. It is expected to be completed in 2030.

I also walked to see two buildings designed by Gaudi. His work is so distinctive that you know immediately when you see one of his buildings.

Finisterre and Muxia October 15

We met our German and Lithuanian friends for hugs last night. They have been such fun companions.

Today we rented a car and drove to the coast with Erika’s friend from Steamboat, Kristen, and her friend, Leslie. It was a lovely foggy morning.

Finisterre is known to be at the end of the world. We could barely see the lighthouse.

We drove on to Muxia, also known by some as the end of the world. The surf pounds!!!

As we were about to leave, the Lithuanians arrived with more champagne!

Thanks to all of you for sharing my walk with me. It was so nice to know you were walking each step by my side. I heard your encouragement in my heart. Love you all.

Santiago October 14

We had fun in the square with our camino friends then enjoyed a nice dinner together.

It was gushing rain when we walked back to the hostel.

Today was a lazy day day. We hardly knew what to do without 15 miles to walk!

I started with churros and yummy hot chocolate, too thick to drink but perfect for dipping!

We found a rainbow as we walked to the cathedral for the pilgrim mass.

The butafumeria doesn’t swing at every mass but we were lucky. The spectacle is such a stunning way to end a pilgrimage.

Market stalls and musicians were in every street.

Arca to Santiago October 13 15.8 miles

We finished our walk today…513 official miles. We walked in with eight camino friends and celebrated with many more as we approached Santiago.

We had champagne on Monte de Gozo, the hill where you can first see the cathedral.

I love the bagpipers as you walk through the tunnel into the cathedral square.

Arzua to Arca October 12 13.4 miles

The Norte peregrinos suffered culture shock today as we joined the multitude of pilgrims who walked from France and the hordes who started in Sarria. (If you walk from Sarria, you earn your compestella which early pilgrims believed would grant them forgiveness.)

I remember the lovely eucalyptus trees from my first camino.

I also think I remember this crazy place where every beer bottle is placed on a fence or wall.

We almost dodged the rain. We didn’t get drenched but now, looking out, it is blowing and pouring. It was perfect to have a short day.

A group of 16-year-old students from Madrid were on the way today. A compestella apparently looks good on a college application.

We saw a few friends from the Norte among the throng of walkers.

Santiago tomorrow!!!

Sobrado to Arzua October 11 14.6 miles

This is the story of The Dog Who Knows The Way. I didn’t tell it when it happened because it just seemed like a fun coincidence but today another pilgrim told the exact same story. Now I’m a believer!

I turned up a lane and went past four houses. A small yellow dog inside a fence started barking like crazy, not at all unusual. He started running frantically between the gate and the door and banging into the door until his owner finally came out. The old woman wearing a traditional housedress started fussing noisily. I first thought she might suspect I had teased her dog. Then I realized she was telling me to turn around as I had made a wrong turn.

That is one smart dog!

It rained all night so when the wake up bells began tolling at seven and continued every 15 minutes, everyone in our room ignored them. We finally turned lights on at 8. The local hotel served bacon and eggs, a first for this camino! The bartender made individual coffees and fried the eggs for about twenty customers! The slow start worked…the rain was just a drizzle when we started about 10.

We met a fun couple from Portugal.

We joined the Camino Frances in Arzua. There are so many more pilgrims!!!