Santiago Without El Camino

Dear Friends,

This week there was an additional opening year press event for the Galcia Fulbright Grantees in Santiago de Compostela. 

It was a short trip (one hour by car) before we arrived to the event at Peter Eisenman’s “The City of Culture of Galicia”, an unfinished arcitectural work that was originally supposed to be a series of buildings that resemble a mountain, but was stopped halfway through construction because of money and personality issues. 

Seeing it, even unfinished, gives you a sense of awe and sadness. Though the dream of these buildings being a mountain in and of themselves will never be realized, the dramatic change in the landscape is amazing to see. It was highly surreal–like walking inside the architect’s mind. The sadness comes from seeing that it is a project unlikely to ever be completed, that you were walking in an incomplete thought, a dream unfulfilled. 

After, we made our way to the central cathedral where El Camino, a Christian pilgrimage is walked by hundreds of people ever year, climaxes. The cathedral was unfortunately under construction and we couldn’t really see some parts because of that, but it’s hard to cover the majesty that the place holds. Something I found funny is that people were selling walking sticks with spikes on the bottom and ponchos and other things which would, you know, have been good to use on El Camino, but seem kind of sarcastic when sold at the end. 

Next, we went to lunch, played on the free gym equipment in the park, and walked the city with some of our fellow Fulbrighters until we each made our own way to transportation back to our new homes. It was great to actually see other Fulbrighters, especially since we are all so much more isolated than those who stayed in Madrid. Jazmin and I are lucky because we have each other and one other Fulbrighter here in Lugo. (Shout out to John!)

In the end, it was a great trip with a lot of walking and had us riding our first inter-city bus! That’s one non-Lugo city down, so many more to go.

Best wishes,