I retraced the official, final steps of the Camino Inglés, on my second trip to Santiago de Compostela, since I had not completed this section when I actually walked it the year before.
“It is a mistake to think that moving fast is the same as actually going somewhere.” ~ Steve Goodier
Unless you are on a severe time crunch, the final steps on the Camino Inglés is a time to be savored. I did my best to photograph landmarks that you will be able to find easily along the way, if you are walking this for the first time.
Here is the map of the route's official, final steps on the Camino Inglés that I created in Scribble Maps. Open the little box in the bottom center to get the full map. It is totally interactive, so play around with it and get your bearings do you don't get lost like I did!
At the Praza da Paz, Number 1 on the map above, is where our group diverged from the official Camino to head towards the Convento de San Francisco de Santiago. In 2014, when I walked the Camino Inglés, it was the 100th anniversary of the church, and they were giving out a special Compostela. We headed to San Francisco church from this plaza, instead of tracing the official and final steps of the Camino Inglés.
I will start this article's journey, as I re-traced the Camino Inglés a year later, at the Praza da Paz, a prominent roundabout, just after the Café Bar Garcia Lorca and the Parque Pablo Iglesias, that I previously described in day five.
Deep within the Praza da Paz roundabout is a modern sculpture of a pilgrim. He is not easy to see for a south-bound walker, so you will need to look back as you reach the southern end of the circle on your final steps of the Camino Inglés.
From the circle walk southwest down the Rúa da Pastoriza. In about 200 feet, you come to this fountain on your right...
...and this church on the left.
The Rúa da Pastoriza becomes the Rúa dos Basquiños, after the church pictured above. Walk along the Basquiños about four minutes on your final steps of the Camino Inglés, and as the street makes a bend, all of a sudden the twin cathedral towers come into view!
Walk along the Rúa dos Basquiños a few more feet and shortly after turn right onto the Avenida de Coímbra and immediately left onto the Rúa de Santa Clara, a quaint and narrow side street shown below.
The Rúa de Santa Clara parallels the Rúa dos Basquiños for a short while and descends down a hill on the final steps of the Camino Inglés.
You can easily see the Convento do Carme, below, from the Rúa dos Basquiños before you make your turn. If you head for the Convent you will know you are heading in the right direction.
As you descend on the Rúa de Santa Clara, it takes a bend and becomes the Rúa dos Loureiros. You will catch glimpses of the Cathedral of Santiago towers along the way.
Continue descending on the Rúa dos Loureiros for several hundred feet more...
...and cross the Rúa do Hospitaliño and into the Zona Peatonal (Pedestrian Zone). If you look to your right after crossing the Rúa do Hospitaliño you will see the sweeping towers of the Convento de San Francisco de Santiago (view not pictured). This is where we got our special Compostela in the year of their 100th anniversary, 2014.
You can descend the long flight of stairs to visit this splendid cathedral, if you desire, or save for a later time! I know you are eager to get to the Santiago de Compostela cathedral!
When you pass the San Francisco view point, you are entering the Rúa da Porta da Pena and the very heart of Santiago de Compostela! You are only feet away from the cathedral! These are truly your final steps on your Camino Inglés!
The tower you see in the photo below, is from the cathedral de Santiago de Compostela! Getting very close now!
Look for the old street sign, on the stone building up and to your left on your final steps on the Camino Inglés. Around here is where the old original gate was to the medieval walled city of Santiago, called the Porta Poennae. The modern street takes its name from this gate where pilgrims traveling on their final steps on the Camino Inglés traditionally entered.
The Rúa da Porta da Pena becomes the Rúa da Fonte de San Miguel, here at this church in the Praza de San Martiño. My sun-washed photo does not do justice to the beauty of this church!
Continue on straight at the next intersection (with the Rúa de Abril Ares) where the Rúa da Fonte de San Miguel becomes the Rúa de Troia! (It's not as hard as it sounds! Just lots of street name changes, but you are essentially going straight!)
Take the Rúa da Troia all the way a total of about 3oo feet, ending as the street gets very narrow and through a narrow walkway to the Rúa de Acebechería. As you walk a short ways, you can see the beautiful Praza da Inmaculada coming into sight, with its beautiful formal gardens, below!
You will walk through the Praza da Inmaculada and past this northern side of the cathedral. Pause here to take in the sweeping view!
Then you keep on going through the tunnel ahead of you, called the Arco de Palacio and down the stairs to the famous and monumental Praza do Obradouiro! You have arrived, now do your victory dance!
If you would like to learn more about the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, please see my article that describes the surrounding landmarks and plazas by clicking here. It is truly an amazing town.
May your own final steps on your Camino Inglés be filled with rapture and awe as you entering this holy city that for centuries has been the goal of the medieval pilgrimage traveler.
May you pause here like all the other pilgrims and know that you have completed your final steps on the Camino Inglés and you truly have no destination at the moment because you have arrived!
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