Monday, 23 May 2016

My Travel Story: Eurotrip (4) ~ Santiago de Compostela


My 2 days in Madrid finally came to an end. There are still a lot of places I haven't explored due to my super tight schedule. So, on Tuesday 8th of September, I continued my journey to the second city in Spain, Santiago de Compostela. Never had I heard about this place before. But one of my classmates in Chinese language class in Taiwan suggested me this place. I did a little research and decided to visit.

Santiago de Compostela is located at the northwestern part of Spain. I took Ryanair from Madrid to Santiago for about 40 Euros including the luggage. When I got there, the weather was already a bit colder than in Madrid. The airport is small but it looks like it was recently renovated. To go to the city center, I took a bus from the airport for only 3 Euros. No need to buy a bus ticket at a vending machine or counter. Just hop onto the bus and pay the driver.

There is a long queue and a sign for bus going to the city. If you're not sure, just ask a local that queues there. Spaniards are very nice and more importantly, many of them already speak English. At least to the level of being able to answer questions about directions :)

Upon my arrival at the city centre, I immediately looked for my hotel to put my luggage. I stayed at San Lorenzo Hotel. The hotel is located less than 1KM away from the tourist spot. It was clean and comfortable and more importantly, it's value for money!
The restaurant where I had my breakfast

Then I started exploring the town by having breakfast at a local cafe. Finally decided to have a toast with jamon and of course, a cup of coffee ;)

My yummy yet cheap breakfast :) (below 2 Euros)

Santiago de Compostela is a small and old town, but it is beautiful in many ways. The streets, houses and buildings depict the image of a town in a fairy tale. However, there is also a part of the city that looks modern and filled with shops from brands like Zara and others.
 The City Centre Surrounded by Cafes
The Shops and Restaurants

The most famous tourist spot in Santiago de Compostela is the St. James Cathedral. It is the burial site of one of Jesus' disciples, James. Many parts of the decorations inside the cathedral are made of gold. Many tourists come to Santiago for a pilgrimage walk, better known as the Camino Walk. People do the Camino Walk in group. Some people do it for a week, starting from one city in Spain to Santiago. As far as I know, the full route of Camino takes around 5 weeks starting from a city in France. You can spot the Camino walkers easily since they carry around a large backpack with hiking tools.

Since I didn't do the walk, I just took a look around Praza do Obradoiro, St. James Cathedral and the University of Santiago de Compostela. There is also a garden at the city centre, so my friend and I also strolled around the garden that afternoon.

Praza do Obradoiro
The Queue at the Cathedral's Entrance
 The Cathedral Decorations
The Chapel Inside the Cathedral
 Santiago's Flavored Wine in Mini Bottles (3 euros/each) 

I was lucky to have such a kind local tour guide in Santiago de Compostela. We had lunch at around 2 PM. It was a local restaurant serving local cuisines. We had a complete set of meal for around 10-12 euros (including wine).
Me and My Private Local Tour Guide :)
Overall, it was a beautiful and memorable journey in Santiago! I would really love to go back, probably do the Camino Walk in the future. I stayed only for one night and it was definitely not enough! 2 nights is probably the right length of time for a city tour around Santiago. A good camera with Go Pro or fish-eye lens is highly recommended!


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