Whilst slowly winding our way up Spain, we have found ourselves crossing over the Camino de Santiago (St. James’ Way), the pilgrimage towards the tomb of St. James. You could say that this journey is our own pilgrimage, be it rather distinct. Instead of setting off on a spiritual journey to cleanse our minds and souls, we are searching far and wide on a journey to feed our tummies…
So like all of the other peregrinos (pilgrims) we turned up in Santiago de Compostela extremely excited. However instead of heading in the direction of the cathedral to pay our tributes to St James, we marched straight in the direction of the local food market. After visiting markets of all varieties in every town, I must say that I think this has been my favourite so far. The traditional ambiance of old ladies with head scarves calling out for you to come taste their peppers and fishermen offering freshly caught goods was completely untarnished.
We wandered around in search of some of Galicia’s finest fresh fish, which we found in the form of sole. Ordering one large one between us, we picked it out, asked for its head to be chopped off and continued on to a local market bar where the chefs cook up your fish for a reasonable sum. This sum was cheap as chips… 1 euro… However there was an inevitable waiting list. With half an hour to kill, leaving our fishy in the trusted hands of the waitress, we took this opportunity to visit the cathedral and to go ‘pilgrim-spotting’ at the cathedral to see the notorious event of people from far and wide arriving in relief after their tough journey. My wish of wanting to see “some pilgrims lie on the ground and cry in relief” was satisfied, and it was rather emotional seeing families, friends and strangers of all walks of life congratulating one another.
After sitting down soaking up the energetic atmosphere, we briskly walked back to collect our fish, bought a huge (and I mean huge) piece of rustic bread, and sat against a wall to eat our meal with the same food Jesus used to feed the five thousand… This time just the two of us though, our four thousand nine hundred and ninety-eight friends were too busy finishing the Camino de Santiago!