According to our vision "Art traces", which is to capture and record through art the everyday life, traditions, and culture of people who carry a primordial heritage and history, we started on September 12th the "Camino de Santiago" route. We followed the Camino Frances, which is one of the many roads which lead to the Spanish city of Compostela and our terminal destination was Finisterre.
The road of St. James (Santiago) is a medieval pilgrimage since the 9th century when a tomb was found in a neighbouring town of Santiago de Compostela and it is believed that this tomb was of St. James. From this point on, many pilgrims have hiked the "Camino de Santiago" route in order to reach the city of Compostella and pay tribute to the saint.
We walked 870 km and we stayed approximately at 40 different points. As we have already said our terminal destination was Finisterre, the point where Hercules' 10th labour took place as well as the point where there was the end of the world according to ancient beliefs. Moreover, Finisterre was believed to be the point where the sun died and the world of light along with the world of darkness came together.
In each of our steps, we tried to get to know and capture our path through the means of photography and video. We invite you to follow us and share together with us the journey " 2 End Of The World".
For us, the Camino was an easy decision to make, maybe because we had no idea about the difficulties that were ahead of us, maybe because the past few years we went through a much more difficult journey when we had to face a serious health problem. Whatever it was that made us take the first step, we are not sure we know it. Pedro, the man in charge of the albergue that belongs to the order of the Knights of Malta in Cizur Menor, told us that the Camino is a call from God and no one ever knows why they do it. As all the things that are valuable in life. We never know why we love a certain person and not someone else. We believe that all the important things happening in our lives are beyond our reason and understanding. And that’s what is magical about life!
The route of Saint James is a spiritual path with many physical and mental difficulties, but also with a lot of blessings. The difficulties we had to face were the endless physical pain, which sometimes we just forgot about, the fact that we had to sleep with many other people in the same room, sometimes there were up to a hundred people in one room and as a result, we could' t get much sleep, that despite our tiredness we had to find a place to eat and if there was no such place available, we had to cook our own food. So, many times we had to face ourselves and the tiredness of the day.
Nevertheless, the blessings were more than difficulties. We came closer to our own being as the long hours of walking give you a lot of time with yourself. We met many people, each one with a personal, beautiful story. We slept in albergue hundreds of years old, some used to be churches that were turned into hostels for the pilgrims, some were or still are under the supervision of the Knights Templar, some were clean and warm while others were dirty and cold, but each one had its charm. We discovered and in a way we experienced the scenery of northern Spain, we walked around Navarra and the wonderful land of the Basques, we walked through the countless vineyards of La Rioja, we saw the villages and the endless ochre scenery of Castilla y Leon and finally, magical Galicia of the Celtes gave us some of the most beautiful images we had ever seen.
Our pilgrimage did not stop in Santiago which is the end of the Camino. We went as far as Finisterre, the “end of the world”. The route from Santiago to Finistere was the most beautiful, there were very few pilgrims and the Galician scenery was truly magical. Our emotions the moment we reached our point zero are hard to explain. We were so moved when we arrived in Santiago De Compostella and touched the walls of the Saint James Cathedral, a symbolic gesture meaning that the pilgrimage is over. But when we arrived at the “end of the world” we felt fulfilled and relieved. Another difficult journey had ended for us, but this time it was a journey we chose.
When we went to get our certificate of completion of the Camino, we saw a written phrase “If you could see the journey whole you might never undertake it; might never dare the first step that propels you from the place you have known toward the place you know not” and we remembered all the different pilgrims, that we met on our way, walking the Camino for the second or third time, some even more. We felt so much physical pain when we asked them why they were doing this again thinking that if we knew how difficult it was, maybe we wouldn’t ’t have started it. The answer was the same from all of them, when we get back home we will understand what the Camino is and hear it calling us again. Now we can say that we would do it again, not just once but many times more.
We would like to share with you a line from the pilgrims’ prayer “Blessed are you pilgrim because you have discovered that the authentic "Camino" begins when it is completed” and that is the truth. Realizing in an experiential way that life is a big pilgrimage, and if we make that pilgrimage consciously it’ s able to give us great blessings.