The Road to Santiago de Compostela
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The first time I heard about the Camino de Santiago, I was in my Espana Diversa class on foreign study in Madrid. My professor, Pilar, told us of her experiences on the Road to Santiago, and it was from these stories that I first became interested in the topic. Soon thereafter I read Iberia by James Michener, whose vivid stories of northern Spain inspired me to travel to the region and experience the road for myself. One year later I decided to return to Spain to travel and experience the adventures of the pilgrimage. The history and culture of Spain has always captivated me, and to be able to immerse myself in a ritual that is so central to Spanish culture was a gratifying experience. In this essay I have attempted to bring the pilgrimage to life by combining the history, culture, architecture, and religious background of the pilgrimage, interviews with pilgrims, together with my own anecdotes and experiences.