More information about the Camino de Santiago 

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends” Maya Angelou

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela teaches us lessons, about ourselves, and the world we live in. When we walk the Camino, we exercise our bodies as well as our minds.

Are you ready for the challenge?

Reconnect with Nature Camino de Santiago

Maps

If you would like to do some walking in the immediate vicinity, this is worth visiting:

Birds and Bird sounds

You can use the Apps Orndroid, Birdsnap and Merlin Bird ID to identify the birds of our region.

A useful website to find out more about the birds, insects, flowers etc of France is WildLifeInFrance(dot)com.

Useful Phrases en Route

I’m looking for…
Where is…?
How much is…?
Too expensive
Je suis à la recherche de…
Ou se trouve…?
Combien coute…?
Trop chère
Does anyone here speak English?
Good morning
Good evening
Bye/See you
Please
Thank you
Sorry/Excuse me
What’s your name?
My name is
Can I have a … beer please/a glass of wine/coffee with milk
Yes/No

Quelqu’un parle Anglais?
Bonjour
Bonsoir
Au revoir
S’il vous plait
Merci
Désolé/Excusez-moi
Quel est votre prénom?
Je m’appelle
Je voudrais….une biere s’il vous plait/un verre de vin/café crème
Oui/non
How do I get to…?
Is it far? 
Go straight ahead
Turn left, Turn right
Comment faire pour aller à…?
C’est loin?
Tout droit
Tourner a gauche, Tourner a droite
Open/Closed
Police Station
Entrance/Exit
Prohibited
Toilets
Men/Women
Ouvert/Fermé
Gendarmerie, police nationale
Entrée/Sortie
Interdit
Toilettes
Hommes/Femmes
I need help
Fire
Call…!
I’m sick
An ambulance, A doctor
The police/the fireman
I am lost
It’s an emergency
I’m allergic to: Milk products Peanuts ShellfishTree nuts Eggs Fish Soy Wheat
I’m vegetarian
Meat, Beef, Chicken
Pork, Ham, Fish
Potatoes, Salad, Onion
Ice cream, Strawberry
Sparkling water, Natural water
Coffee, Expresso with milk
J’ai besoin d’aide
Feu
Appel le…!
Je suis malade
Une ambulance, Un medecin
La police/ Les pompiers
Je suis perdu
C’est une urgence
Je suis allergique à: Produits laitiers Cacahuete Fruits de mer Noix Oeufs Poisson Soja Blé
Je suis végétarien
Viande, Boeuf, Poulet
Porc, Jambon, Poisson
Pommes de terre, Salade, Onion
Glace, Fraise
Eau gazeuse, Eau plate
Café(=expresso), Noisette
What time does … leave/arrive?
The bus, the plane, the train, Airport
Time table
A qu’elle heure le….part/arrive?

Le bus, l’avion, le train
Aéroport
Horaires

ATM/bank
Post office/ Tourist Office
What time is it?
Today, tomorrow, yesterday
Morning, afternoon, evening, night
Distributeur/Banque
La Poste/ Office du tourisme
Qu’elle heure est-il?
Aujourd’hui, demain, hier matin, Après-midi, soir, nuit

History

The Way of St. James was one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during the Middle Ages. According to legend, St. James’s remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to northern Spain, where he was buried in what is now the city of Santiago de Compostela.

Origins

During the Middle Ages, the route was very popular. However, the Black Death, the Protestant Reformation and political unrest in the 16th century led to its decline. By the 1980s, only a few pilgrims per year walked to Santiago. Today, the route attracts a great and growing number of modern-day pilgrims, people of all religious persuasions (or none,) from around the globe. In 1987, the route was declared the first European Cultural Route by the Council of Europe; it was also named one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

The Shell Story

The earliest records of visits paid to the shrine dedicated to St. James at Santiago de Compostela date from the 9th century. It became customary for those who returned from Compostela to carry back with them a Galician scallop shell as proof of their completion of the journey. The scallop shell has long been the symbol of the Camino de Santiago. The most common myth about the origin of the symbol concern the death of Saint James, who was martyred by beheading in Jerusalem in 44 AD. According to Spanish legends, he had spent time preaching the Gospel in Spain, but returned to Judaea upon seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary on the bank of the Ebro River. After James’s death, his disciples shipped his body to the Iberian Peninsula to be buried in what is now Santiago. Off the coast of Spain, a heavy storm hit the ship, and the body was lost to the ocean. After some time, however, it washed ashore undamaged, covered in scallops. The grooves in the shell, which meet at a single point, represent the various routes pilgrims travelled, eventually arriving at a single destination: the tomb of James in Santiago de Compostela. The shell is seen on posts and signs along the Camino in order to guide pilgrims along the way.

The Compostela (“field of stars”)

Today, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims make their way to Santiago de Compostela via one of the pilgrims’ routes. On arrival, many attend a Pilgrim’s Mass is held in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela each day at 12:00 and 19:30. Pilgrims who received the compostela the day before have their countries of origin and the starting point of their pilgrimage announced at the Mass. The compostela is a certificate of accomplishment given to pilgrims on completing the Way. To earn the compostela one needs to walk a minimum of 100 km or cycle at least 200 km. The Pilgrim’s Office gives more than 100,000 compostelas each year to pilgrims from more than 100 different countries.

On my blog, and in my books, you’ll find loads of information about the Camino and about making the most of your walk.

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