One Place& One Book: Galicia

El Acebo de San Miguel

Reading is a synonym of travelling.

I have probably travelled more pages than miles. Now that we are slowing down our lives for a while (and speeding up our bytes), we also have a great opportunity to read more or to remember where have we travelled and which books took us there.

I hope to share more book and travel memories here these days. Please, if there is a book which reminds you of a certain place and would like to recommend it, don’t hesitate to leave your comment below.

I know, Galicia is a very big place, more precisely the autonomous community in Northern Spain, which covers almost 30.000 square kilometres. I was thinking of dedicating this post to Santiago de Compostela, which definitely means something special to me, but as there are a few books which remind me of this region, I decided to make to separate blog posts. So the first one is dedicated to Galicia (and partially to León).

Why? Because I was lucky (and crazy) enough to go to an adventure called the pilgrimage to Camino de Santiago. I cannot say that my ‘pilgrimage’ was religious, however, leaving behind a megacity Istanbul and walking (mostly alone) in green Galicia was something magical at times. The walk itself (daily between 14 to 36 km, on average around 23 km), was a kind of isolation. (Who would guess that I was getting ready for COVID-19? :)) But it was a pleasant one. On the way, I have met a lot of interesting people. One of them was David, from Spain, a pilgrim in his 80s, who has walked the Camino many times himself. He has also learnt English (in order to be able to speak with other pilgrims) and even put on his own YouTube channel. (We need more influencers like him!).

“Face your path (Camino) with the courage. Don’t be affraid of other people’s critics. And most importantly, don’t let your own critics paralyse you.” Paolo Coelho. A thought from his book that I found in Santiago de Compostela.

I have walked almost 300 kilometres in 11 days. And I was constantly reminded of two things. Many people will say you cannot do it, especially not alone. It is too dangerous for women. But I did it. And so did many other women which I met on the way. And the second one: enjoy the process. Don’t think about the finish line. Or the goal. You will reach them, but the actual fun (and important) part is the process. I still have more than 500 undiscovered kilometres of the Camino francés and I hope to discover them soon, but for now, here are the books which can take me there.

One book. There are plenty of books and even movies about Camino de Santiago. You can find them in your language. Before I went to Camino, I have read two books. Firstly, Shirley Maclaine’s The Camino, A Journey of the Spirit. (Amazon, Bookdepository). I find her story interesting but rather too personal. I did enjoy it, however, I enjoyed much more Guía Mágica del Camino de Santiago, Por el Camino de las Estrellas written by Miguel G. Aracil. Why? Because it was a more practical guide with daily plans plus, it also explained the history of the Camino. If you like history and art, I would really recommend you this book.

About spelayla

Welcome! My name is Špela. I love to travel, read and learn. And of course, share all these experiences.

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