Blog,  Travel

El Camino de Santiago Photo Diary

June 2018

Last June, my brother and I walked 460 km of the French Way of El Camino de Santiago, the way of Saint James, in northern Spain. It’s a medieval pilgrimage through Spain and ends in Santiago. The remains of Saint James are in the cathedral of Santiago. Make sure to read my reflection of my first experience (because there will hopefully be another). It’s much more powerful and I think really captures my experience more than this photo diary.

I also journaled every single day of the walk. (And recorded everything I experienced in painstaking detail.) That journal is very personal and well, long. I wrote an average of 6 pages for each day. And my brother and I walked for 21 days… Please go and check out this other blog post I wrote with some pictures of my actual journal and some tips for how to write while hiking.

But, the way was stunning. Honestly, I didn’t take a lot of photos! I usually take so many pictures but while walking it was laborious to get my phone out of my bag to take a picture. Plus when you’re walking it’s slow going so to the walker it seems like I was seeing the same thing over and over again.

Here are my pictures for my first time walking el Camino de Santiago!

El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary day 1: Walking through the French countryside before crossing the Pyrenees mountains into Spain.
Day 1: Walking through the French countryside before crossing the Pyrenees mountains into Spain.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary: Our trail marker-- the seashell is the symbol of the Camino. Medieval pilgrims would take a seashell as a souvenir upon reaching Santiago (or the coast). Today, pilgrims display a seashell to signify that they are a pilgrim.
Our trail marker– the seashell is the symbol of the Camino. Medieval pilgrims would take a seashell as a souvenir upon reaching Santiago (or the coast). Today, pilgrims display a seashell to signify that they are a pilgrim.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 2: Our 6am wake-up call didn't make us happy campers but we were on the path before 7. And what a long way to go!
Day 2: Our 6 am wake-up call didn’t make us happy campers but we were on the path before 7. And what a long way to go!
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary: A puente Romano (Roman bridge) in the small town where we stopped for the night.
A puente Romano (Roman bridge) in the small town where we stopped for the night.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 3: Wow! What an experience we had at the start of our day at  
The Abbey of Eskirotz and Ilarratz. Here is their Facebook page. A couple who met on the Camino a couple years ago, married and bought this medieval church and are in the process of restoring it. This 13th-century altar features both pagan and Christian symbols.
Day 3: Wow! What an experience we had at the start of our day at
The Abbey of Eskirotz and Ilarratz. Here is their Facebook page. A couple who met on the Camino a couple years ago, married and bought this medieval church and are in the process of restoring it. This 13th-century altar features both pagan and Christian symbols.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Friends from all around the world that we met on the way!
Friends from all around the world that we met on the way!
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 4: Through fields and fields after leaving Pamplona
Day 4: Through fields and fields after leaving Pamplona
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary New York only 5,800 km away
New York only 5,800 km away
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 5: Beautiful, old small towns of Spain.
Day 5: Beautiful, old small towns of Spain.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Entering wine country!
Entering wine country!
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 6: A patio of roses at a cathedral.
Day 6: A patio of roses at a cathedral.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary A fountain of wine! Wine on tap was a nice treat at mid-day-- free!
A fountain of wine! Wine on tap was a nice treat at mid-day– free!
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Looking back, we crossed those mountains.
Looking back, we crossed those mountains.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary A tour of Spanish cathedrals. It is a pilgrimage after all.
A tour of Spanish cathedrals. It is a pilgrimage after all.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 7: A rainy start yet a rainbow guiding our way to Logroño.
Day 7: A rainy start yet a rainbow guiding our way to Logroño.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Wild flower-lined paths.
Wild flower-lined paths.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Celebrating Kyle's 21st birthday in the capital of Spain's wine country, Logroño. What an unforgettable timewe had celebrating with people of many languages.
Celebrating Kyle’s 21st birthday in the capital of Spain’s wine country, Logroño. What an unforgettable time we had celebrating with people of many languages.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 8-9: A bus ride and a rest day in León. Here is León's iconic cathedral.
Day 8-9: A bus ride and a rest day in León. Here is León’s iconic cathedral.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 10: A beautiful sunset to end our hot day of hiking.
Day 10: A beautiful sunset to end our hot day of hiking.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 11: More Roman bridges, this one with 19 arches!
Day 11: More Roman bridges, this one with 19 arches!
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 12: Nothing but a brutal sun and an uphill climb. And what a climb it was!
Day 12: Nothing but a brutal sun and an uphill climb. And what a climb it was!
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 13: Reaching heights and hiking through the final distance through the region of Castilla y León. See the snow?
Day 13: Reaching heights and hiking through the final distance through the region
of Castilla y León. See the snow?
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Quiet, peaceful paths.
Quiet, peaceful paths.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Spotted in the wild: a ferocious big cat.
Spotted in the wild: a ferocious big cat.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 15: My new home, a Knight's of Templar castle.
Day 15: My new home, a Knight’s of Templar castle.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 16: Absolutely stunning views.
Day 16: Absolutely stunning views.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Entering the region of Galicia!
Entering the region of Galicia!
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 18: The valley floor, foggy and just waiting for a witch to emerge.
Day 18: The valley floor, foggy and just waiting for a witch to emerge.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Less than 100km to go!
Less than 100km to go!
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 19: A bit more climbing and walking among the clouds.
Day 19: A bit more climbing and walking among the clouds.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 20: More foggy mornings through farms.
Day 20: More foggy mornings through farms.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary You could only hear, not see, all the cows.
You could only hear, not see, all the cows.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Day 21: This monument stands only 6km from the end!
Day 21: This monument stands only 6km from the end!
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary We made it! Here I received my Compostela. We actually got two: one in Latin and one in Spanish. It says we walked a lot.
We made it! Here I received my Compostela. We actually got two: one in Latin and one in Spanish. It says we walked a lot.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary The cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, an immense Romanesque, gothic, and baroque structure absolutely teeming with people and priests on the inside.
The cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, an immense Romanesque, gothic, and baroque structure absolutely teeming with people and priests on the inside.
El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James pilgrimage) photo diary Our reward: a traditional Santiago cake.
Our reward: a traditional Santiago cake.

It was seriously such a privilege to do this pilgrimage at the end of my time living in Spain. I would recommend it to anyone!

Buen Camino!

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