Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela

I got talking to a Frenchman in Salamanca one time, about the differences between France and Spain.
‘In France its about the countryside. But here its all about these amazing cities,‘ which for me sums up the best of Spain – amazing cities.

Santiago de Compostela is one of those amazing cities and I have a box full of Fuji trannies somewhere, which I should really get around to scanning and digitising.

Santiago de Compostela marks the end of the Camino Way, which gives it a wonderful vibe of exaltation as people arrive at Camino’s end, exhibiting the elation that comes with finishing a long, purposeful schlep (often spanning hundreds of miles…I have some quality pics of the elation, too!).

Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela

The fireworks in this image are part of the annual summer festival, and I’d set my tripod up early for this picture. But come twenty minutes before the event, hundreds of Spaniards arrived last-minute and just muscled themselves in front of my lens-line and everyone else’s view.
Anyhow, after nearly ending up in a full blown scrap with some of the strutting menfolk, they grudgingly agreed to make enough room for my lens to poke through.

Fireworks at the Santiago de Compostela festival.
Fireworks at the Santiago de Compostela festival.

This series of images was shot on Fuji Velvia slide film, and its a spectacular once-in-a-lifetime scene to capture, for the fireworks are never the same.

Like many ‘amazing’ Spanish cities, the best time to go to Santiago is not in Summer, but rather in University term time, because the students give the city’s bars and cafes much of their atmosphere.
The only real bonus of going when the students aren’t in town, apart from the Summer sun (if you’re lucky – the weather is as unpredictable as England’s) is that the rooms students usually rent are offered to travellers to the city, some situated in great old buildings and offered at reasonable (though far from ‘cheap’) rates.