The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 6 – Santiago de Compostela)

At the east end of the cathedral (the ‘back’, so to speak) the square known as Praza da Quintana is divided into two levels, the lower Quintana de Mortos (‘Square of the Dead’) used to be a cemetery until the end of the eighteenth century, and above the steps lies the Quintana de Vivos (‘SquareContinue reading “The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 6 – Santiago de Compostela)”

The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 1)

You might not notice it, but the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) is a conflict still alive in Spain.  Any Spanish person you meet of 60 years or older (e.g. some of the hospitalero who run the albergues you stay in) will not simply be old enough to have lived under the dictatorship, but will haveContinue reading “The Camino and the Spanish Civil War (part 1)”

Eucalyptus — a (un)welcome smell on the Camino?

Eucalyptus is one of the smells I associate with the Camino, particularly stretches of the Camino del Norte/Primativo, and while I enjoy the sweetness that fills the air as its thimble-like seed capsules crunch underfoot in the early morning, I can’t help but wish it wasn’t there. Perhaps that’s because one interloper rarely likes another?Continue reading “Eucalyptus — a (un)welcome smell on the Camino?”

A recipe for pleasure: Tarta de Santiago (Santiago’s Cake)

Tarta de Santiago (or Torta de Santiago in Galego, the language of Galicia) is one of my favourite deserts and is a wonderful expression of what is best in Spanish cooking — good ingredients used simply but effectively.  Essentially, it’s a flat cake of almonds, eggs and sugar, in roughly equal measure, which mightn’t soundContinue reading “A recipe for pleasure: Tarta de Santiago (Santiago’s Cake)”

Yellow arrows and the Shell symbol

The yellow arrows and the scallop shell vie with each other for the honour of most recognisable symbol of the Camino and I think every perigrino’s heart has lightened on seeing them on those rare occasions when we’ve gone off the beaten track.  While the shell has a long association with the Camino, the yellowContinue reading “Yellow arrows and the Shell symbol”