Walking the El Camino de Santiago in Northern Spain
Walking the Way of St. James to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Northern Spain was one of the most important pilgrimages during the Middle Ages. Anne Born has walked The Camino nine times, and has written several books about it. Today the Camino has become a bucket-list travel adventure. The most popular way, an ancient Roman trade route starting in France, is now a UNESCO Heritage Site.
But many routes, including one from Lisbon or Porto Portugal, converge to the Cathedral. And some travelers walk beyond, to the most western point in Spain, Cape Finisterre, on the Atlantic Coast in Galicia. Land’s End in Latin.
On this episode Anne takes us through a typical day on the Camino. Some pilgrims walk for fun, some for spiritual reasons or to bond with others. Anne shares travel tips and info about the routes from medieval times to the present: fascinating tidbits about the best ways to meet people, the meaning of the scallop shell, where to stay — and innkeepers’ hospitality. She fondly remembers the best local foods, different ways to go, including biking, and the spirituality that pilgrims find under the Big Sky of Northern Spain.
We also chat about major cities on the Camino, like Burgos, and of the magnificent cathedral there and in Santiago. And we end as we always do on our podcast — with a favorite memory.
Ready to walk the Camino?
About Anne Born
Anne Born is an award-winning, New York-based writer who has been writing stories and poetry since childhood. She blogs on The Backpack Press and Tumbleweed Pilgrim and her writing focuses on family and life in a big city after growing up in a small one. She is the author of “A Marshmallow on the Bus,” “Prayer Beads on the Train,” “Waiting on a Platform,” “Turnstiles,” and “Local Color.” Her latest book is “Buen Camino! Tips from an American Pilgrim.” (The Backpack Press, December, 2017, now updated for 2020). Her short essay on the call to the Camino de Santiago is included in “It’s About Time,” by Johnnie Walker (Redemptorist Pastoral Publications, 2019). She is also curator of the Late Orphan Project and a former contributor to The Broad Side.
Anne is also a photographer, specializing in photos of churches, cemeteries, and the Way of St. James in Spain, the Camino de Santiago. She is writing a new guidebook to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela for English-speaking pilgrims: “If You Stand Here.” Identifying locations in the building where important events took place, it will tell the story of the person in history who stood where you are standing. (Publication date, December 2020).
Time Stamps for El Camino
Most popular routes- (5:59)
Best ways to get around – (6:35)
Typical day on the Camino – (7:38)
Meeting People- (9:52)
What the scallop shell means- (10:54)
Accommodations from rustic to 5-star -(13:10)
Local foods – (19:11)
Surprising pit stops for problems – (20:50)
More about food- (21:37)
Bringing the family- (24:18)
Spirituality and replenishment – (26:12)
Following the Milky Way – (28:14)
Anne’s favorite memory of the Camino – (29:37)