Some people may consider the monument magnificent while others may call it an eyesore. Modern and towering, it certainly impressed me, although I can’t say it was a highlight of the Camino… I had my photo taken on one side, and then again on another. In the distance, I saw Santiago and knew I would soon be there. The alto was busy with pilgrims, tourists, and students. The outdoor café was packed and loud. I followed other pilgrims down a hill but soon realized it wasn’t the Camino but the path to the sprawling albergue and the adjacent hotel complex, where many people stayed. I backtracked up the hill, past the outdoor café and the screaming teenagers, and back to the relative peacefulness of the Camino… From Page 192, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days.
Now, I’ll continue my journey on the Camino de Santiago as I arrived to San Marcos, Galicia. Even if you don’t have my book, you can still enjoy this post, and learn more about walking the French Way or Camino Francés (map from Wikipedia Commons).
On my last post, On The Camino De Santiago in Spain, Lavacolla to San Marcos, I visited Lavacolla during the late morning on my spring Camino Francés and late afternoon on my summer Camino del Norte. As you can tell, I had glorious weather on both days. I mentioned about the narrow path beside the road on my last post. I thought there would be at least a sidewalk so close to Santiago de Compostela. I don’t want to preach here but please be careful, especially walking two or three wide on roads such as these. Most of the drivers are courteous but there is the odd one that drives without due care. If you’re like me, especially when deep in thought, you don’t hear too much behind you.
Welcome to San Marcos, a suburb of Santiago, with a mix of homes with small farms and residential areas.
This photo is from my Camino del Norte, but on my Camino Francés, I had been looking for the monument at Monte do Gozo with anticipation. At the end of this road, this is what I saw…
with a little zoom, there it was, the monument at Monte do Gozo, the Hill of Joy. For those of you walking the Camino, this is your last hill before descending to the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Why is it called the Hill of Joy? From here, you have the first glimpses of the cathedral and old city of Santiago de Compostela.
Monte do Gozo not only has a large albergue with 500 beds, there are also hotel rooms and a campground. It also has an outdoor concert area. On August 2, 2009, Bruce Springsteen played to a huge crowd on the grounds of Monte do Gozo.
Interestingly, many pilgrims decided shoes were no longer needed. I’m sure they had backup pairs.
Here we are, from my Camino del Norte, this is the monument at Monte do Gozo. The structure was constructed to commemorate the visit by Pope John Paul II in August 1989. The pope led the final mass during World Youth Day. Let’s take a look around…
Please excuse the appearance of this guy.
The look toward the adjacent hills. There is a trail to the albergue from just below the monument.
The Capilla de San Marcos is fairly recent. In fact, there is really nothing that looks historically significant on Monte do Gozo, at least that I could see.
Ahhh… back to the relative peacefulness of the Camino. For those continuing to the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, go back to be main road and follow it down the hill. Again, I thought there would be at least a sidewalk. That would soon change at the bottom of the hill.
a view of a suburb of Santiago de Compostela.
I’ll stop here as I descended Monte do Gozo, just before entering the city limits. On my next post, On The Camino De Santiago in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Monte Do Gozo to the Old City, I’ll take you through the streets of Santiago de Compostela, although we won’t arrive to the cathedral just yet. Please join me as I take you closer to the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.
If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle and Kobo. My Goodreads and Amazon pages have reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.