All posts tagged: Santiago de Compostela

Taking the Waters at Balneario de Mondariz

I am in the midst of a brief work trip to Galicia…and if you don’t know where that is, well neither did I just a few weeks ago. Galicia – the Switzerland of Spain – is the small portion of land that blocks Portugal’s northern border from touching the Atlantic Ocean. It is hilly (hence the Swiss reference), with a fascinating landscape that is matched by its unique history. I am here, with colleagues from around the world, for an executive committee meeting of the International National Trusts Organisation (or INTO).  We are being hosted by one of our member Trusts – the Tesouros de Galicia – and several of my colleagues joined a contingent from Tesouros de Galicia in completing 140 kilometers of what may be Galicia’s most famous pilgrimage:  the Camino de Santiago that ends at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. After a much too complicated trip to arrive (never fly Ryan Air – for those of  you old enough, think a bad People’s Express experience), I joined my colleagues in Santiago …

A Wonderful Week

Travel for work often deserves the brickbats thrown its way. But then there are the sublime trips that more than make it all worthwhile. My travel last week falls in the latter category. As posted here, here, here, here, and here, Candice and I have been on the road, seeing a variety of special places with friends and supporters of the National Trust. But because internet connections were slow-to-nonexistent on the road, I kept the posts short and to the point. So this is my “bring it all home” post.  I’ll give a short update of each stop, and then will post several new photos from that portion of the trip that weren’t included in the original updates. Our first port was Porto, Portugal, a wonderful city with a historic center that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It was a great kick-off, with a strong mix of monumental buildings and streets full of markets like the one at the top of the post.  We saw the coffee shop where J.K. Rowling wrote …

Santiago de Compostela: Our visit to the final destination of the Camino de Santiago

Saturday of our European Coastal Civilizations tour took us to Santiago de Compostela, the famous destination of the medieval pilgrimage trail Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The morning began as we docked in La Corona, Spain, after sailing past the Tower of Hercules, the oldest Roman lighthouse in use today.  It makes for a dramatic entrance into the port city and set the stage for what was in store. After an hour-long bus drive, we arrived at Santiago de Compostela, with its cathedral of St. James.  The picture at the top of the post marks the official end of the Camino de Santiago, and we had a chance to talk with pilgrims who were arriving in a steady stream – many on very nice road bikes! The city’s importance came from a visit by the Apostle James to this outpost in Spain to convert people to Christianity.  Centuries later, in 813, a hermit saw a vision of a shining field, and from the Latin “Campus Stellae” …