A Travellerspoint blog

Pilgrim Traffic Statistics

sunny -16 °C

It is amazing to know how many pilgrims walk just the Spanish caminos and register at the pilgrim office. Some don't even register at the office when completing a route that ends in Santiago de Compestella. Here are some amazing stats for 2018 ... "During 2018, 327,342 pilgrims were received at the Pilgrimage Office; the previous Holy Year in 2010 were 272,417. Of these pilgrims, 164,817 (50.35%) are women and 162,525 (49.65%) men. On foot, 306,028 (93.49%) arrived, 20,787 (6,35%) on bicycle, 318 (0,10%) on horseback, 130 (0,04%) and 79 (0,02%) at Wheelchair."


Posted by LBoyd 11:34 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Day 41 - June 16 - travel home day

I could not resist writing a follow up final post. Not always do you get a window seat and a sunny day to take airplane photos so here are a few as we left Madrid at 10:35 am. You can see the terrain with valley and mountains and then the clouds hanging in the valley. This is what we encountered on our travels.


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Posted by LBoyd 10:43 Comments (0)

Day 40 - June 15 - Madrid, Spain

Well today is our last rest day. We only plan to visit the National Art Museum - the Prado and walk around town before we settle down to watch the FIFA cup game of Espana and Portugal. The streets are busy but will be empty at 8 pm when the game is on.

This trip has had some fun surprises along the way and today's fun thing is the white trucks and boundary tape outside our hotel on our street. "Is the street going to be clocked of on the weekend for a festival?", I ask. No, they are filming the Terminator movie! What will we see in the morning?

So this will be my last post. Thanks to all that followed along and sent your comments, feedback and support. It has been a great trip. And thanks to Elizabeth who asked me to join her on this 2018 Camino. As this trip was not on my bucket list it shows you never know what is around the corner for you. The best ones seem to never be planned. ?

Off to the airport tomorrow morning.

P.S. score of the game .... tied 3 - 3

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Posted by LBoyd 20:37 Comments (0)

Day 39 - June 14 - train to Madrid and end of our travels

Today we take the fast train back to Madrid where our travels will end. We depart at 11:45 am and begin our departure from Seville. It is now 28 Celsius and it will reach 34. Whew we are getting out of town before the summer heat hits. As we speed along I see we have reached a speed of 251 km/hr on checking the weather for Madrid it will be a cooler 30 Celcius!

Today was the day we would have left Santiago for Madrid if we had walked the Primitivo Camino. Alas that was not in the cards this time but I think we made the best lemonade out of lemons!! As I have written, we have learned from posts on the forum and our friend Norma, that it was indeed wet and muddy in the north so no regrets here. We have made the most of our time here in Spain and soon it will come to an end as we will fly home on June 16.

Sites from the train are an 8th century castle near Córdoba, farms and animals and mountains. Our speed has hit 269 kmh and the temperature has increased to 28 Celsius. Ugh no AC on board or at least we don't feel it!!? another 1.5 hr to go. So what shall I do? Train snacks of course!


Posted by LBoyd 13:09 Comments (0)

Day 38 - June 13 - Sevilla, Spain - day 3

Today was our Seville Cathedral (Santa Maria See) rooftop tour. On our way walking to the Cathedral we pass some interesting buildings which of course I have to take pictures. We make our way to the door of San Miguel to join the tour. Our tour will begin just as Mass is ending and I get a few shots of a priest, the Cristobal Colon (Columbus) tomb and painting, the ordain Balcony above and the angel (not knowing I will see her close up later on) and I record the end of Mass where the organ is playing the crescendo -- big and strong! We began by passing through a small door and ascending the narrow 15 century gothic spiral staircase which is inside a column. Up we go in a circle. We pop out at our first level a Balcony where we can look out over Christopher Columbus relic and the St. Christopher 15 foot painting. Then onto the second stage, we go back into the stairwell and ascend up and up in a circle (no windows in the staircase so it is a bit close) and make our way to the roof where learn about the construction and reconstruction of the building. Wonderful architecture and engineering is used used to build the structure. This was a mosque at one time and then reworked and additions made. Buttresses, Elongated flying buttresses support and share the load of the roof and pinnacles deflect to the ground the force exerted by the domes. There are 'mushrooms' across the roof which are cover to holes in the roof which were used to suspend things from the ceiling or close to a wall. When you peer through the home you can see the black and white marble floor below.

We then proceed back into the stairwell for the final ascent to the highest part of the roof tour and the views are wonderful. We can see the tower and gargoyles and pinnacles very closely. We walk around the roof and make our way to see the city and the structure and we end up in the south end, outside of the stained glass Rosette window which is 9 metres diameter.

The final stage takes us back into another spiral staircase to descend a few levels to make our way along a small balcony used for cleaning the windows or lighting etc. We are walking along the interior space where we can look down into the church and see the centre of the Cathedral, then above the organ structure and the ornate wooden angel. We move in and out of a passageway in each column and pop out to a balcony all the way along to the Rosetta window on the inside. It must have been 8 times we did this. We were very high up in the roof area. (Not really the place for the faint of heart) Then we finally make it to the final descending spiral staircase which brings us back to our starting point two hours later. We are glad to be off the roof as it was getting hot up there, it had reached 27 Celsius at noonish and it will hit 31 by 4 pm!

We go in the search of a bite to eat and then go off to see the Torre del Oro (Gold's Tower). By now it is 31 Celsius and we love the air conditioning inside. So we linger for a bit. This tower was used in times of war and was an used when the trading activity began. It had been damaged in an earthquake and renovations had a gold tile installed which gave it is name. Today it is back to clay surface.

Today we have to walk all the way back to our hotel about 1 km away so we are in search of the shaded streets. As we make our we decide to stop for a refreshment to get us home and discovered an inside market building that was a former convent and a jail. So we have a treat, the most delicious fresh fruit dessert.

We did not visit the Sevilla Alcazar the Official residence of royal family in Seville one of the oldest palaces still in use, as we decided since we saw the Alhambra it was similar and we ran out of time. Plus leave something for the next visit??

On our way home from dinner we hear music and so we go to investigate and come across a religious procession for San Lorenzo. These processions are held all over Spain to honour many saints also holy days. They have a heavy 'pasos' (float) adorned with their religious figure, flowers, candles and it is carried by a team of 'castalaros' (bearers) and followed by hundreds of 'nazarenos' (penitents). The castalaros take turns under the float hidden by long fabric panels. They have special headpieces they wear to help them support the platform while they carry it. It is an honour to volunteer and they can spend up to a month practicing. Some floats date back to the 17th century and can weigh up to 2000 kg on average there are about 40 castalaros per float that carry about 50 kg each for around 8 hours. This float was not a large one but they had enough room for at least 10 castalaros and I don't know how long the procession went on. Incense was burned and the community took part. This ceremony had them move the float into the church, prayers made, then carried out of the church lead by the priest, and others carrying crosses and candles. There was also a band following the group with drums and trumpets playing strong celebratory tunes. They proceeded around the block with people following and people opening their apartment windows to participate. This is common in in Spain .... very Catholic country.

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Posted by LBoyd 01:47 Comments (0)

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