Pictures from Spain

Following the Path of Pilgrims of Old on the Camino de Santiago

A Pilgrimage to Spain

Led By

The Rev. Gary Erdos
St. Mark Lutheran Church Youth
Yorktown, VA

June 20 – 27, 2009

The Camino de Santiago, or the way of St. James, actually begins in St. Jean de Port, France and continues some 500 miles to Santiago.  This same path has been taken for hundreds of years by the faithful making their holy pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.  The path was also used by Roman, Moor and Saracen invaders, the Knights Templar and the armies of Charlemagne and Napoleon.  Therefore, this journey is not only steeped in spiritual significance as you travel to the place believed to be the burial site of St. James, but it also has much historical and cultural significance.

At the beginning of our walk, each pilgrim will be given a pilgrim’s passport that will be stamped at our stops along the way showing that we have completed that portion of our walk.  The pilgrim’s passport is simply a document showing our progress along the trail.  It has no connection with a US Passport.  When our walk is complete, we will exchange our pilgrim’s passport for our Certificate of Completion of the Camino de Santiago.

Trip map

DAY 1, Saturday, June 20, 2009 - Depart the United States for your flight into Madrid, Spain.  Dinner on board the aircraft. D

DAY 2: Sunday, June 21, 2009 - Upon arrival in Madrid we will meet our driver and guide and drive to Sarria.  We will see the Samos Monastery, an active Benedictine Monastery originally founded in the 6th century.  The architect for the monastery was one of its own monks, Juan Vázquez.  We will have dinner and overnight near Sarria. D

DAY 3: Monday, June 22, 2009 - Today we begin with Morning Prayer before we start our 115 KM walk to Santiago taking in the sites of the small country churches, oak and chestnut groves and farm life along the way.  Upon arrival in Portomarin, we will visit the Church of San Juan which was moved stone by stone from its original location down in the river valley.  This afternoon we visit the city of Lugo where we will walk along the 1800 year old Roman Wall encircling the historical quarter.  Overnight Portomarin.  Walking distance 23.5 KM/14.5 miles. BD

DAY 4: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 - Today we traverse a section of the trail covered in a reddish soil as we venture toward Palas Do Rei.  We will travel through many small towns and villages.  At Castromaior, ruins of a Roman camp have been discovered.  We will pass through Venta de Narón where Christian armies fought and defeated the Muslims in 820.  We will continue to Lameiros where we will see the Cross of Lameiros depicting the Passion and Virgin and Child.  Our final destination today is Palas Do Rei which contains 43 parish churches of which 20 are in the Romanesque style.  We will have dinner and overnight in Palas Do Rei.  Walking distance 25 KM/15.4 miles. BD

DAY 5: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 - Today’s hilly walk continues through field and forest filled with countless examples of Galician vernacular architecture – wayside crosses, granaries, and medieval bridges.  We will walk to the small bustling town of Melide where we will visit the small Ethnographic Museum.  We continue on to the small medieval pilgrims’ hospital and bridge spanning the Río Iso where we will take the bus to Arzúa.  Afternoon excursion to the Portodemouros Reservoir where we can rent kayaks on our own approximately 9 Euro) or visit the Museo de Mel (Honey Museum) (approximately 2.5 Euro).  Because of the distances to be traveled, we will walk and use the bus today.  Overnight Arzúa. Walking distance 26 KM/16 miles. BD

DAY 6: Thursday, June 25, 2009 - This morning the bus will take us back to where we ended our walk yesterday and we will continue our walk to Arca.  We will visit the Monastery of Sobrado, founded in the 10th century and which continues to be active today.  Overnight Arca.  Walking distance 22 KM/13.6 miles. BD

DAY 7: Friday, June 26, 2009 - During this, the final stage of our journey, we will continue our walk into Santiago as many pilgrims before us have done.  We will stop and reflect on the Monte del Gozo (Mount Joy) from which the spires of the Cathedral can be seen.  We will arrive in Santiago in time for the 12 noon Pilgrim’s Mass where we will see the Botafumeiro, a 4 foot incense burner that is swung across the cathedral.  In the medieval days, the incense was burned to mask the smell of the pilgrims in the church.  We will also go to the Pilgrim’s Office where we will turn in our Pilgrim’s Passport in exchange for our Compostela Certificates of Completion, which will indicate that we have walked the pilgrims’ route.  There will be some free time to enjoy the city in the afternoon.  We will have our farewell dinner and overnight in Santiago.  Walking distance 11 KM/6.7 miles. BD

DAY 8: Saturday, June 27, 2009 - Depart from the Santiago airport for our flight home. BL

Price: $2,639.00.  Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Roundtrip air from Washington Reagan Airport.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement:  $139.00

$200.00 per person deposit due with registration and copy of passport.

Final payment due March 20, 2009

The price is not guaranteed and may change due to the fluctuation of the Euro and the US dollar.  We make every effort to avoid any increase and will only do so if the value of the dollar falls against the Euro.  Your pricing was based on the exchange rate of $1.30061 to the Euro

Cancellation Penalties
◊ November 6, 2008 – March 20, 2009 - $200.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ March 21, 2009 – May 20, 2009 - $300.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After May 21, 2009: NO REFUND

Price includes trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner, S Snack

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.