This website recounts, in text and photos, the story of my pilgrimages along the Iberian Peninsula’s historic trails. I describe my hikes on popular and unusual pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela, walked by more than 200,000 pilgrims each year. Come along with me and meet my friends on the way of vineyards and historic sites, through the arid natures and finally passing the blue-hued mountains of Galicia to the city which has drawn pilgrims – first from across Europe, now from around the world – for more than a thousand years.
I started to walk the “French Route” also named “Camino de Santiago” in October 2008 between the Pyrenees in France and Santiago de Compostela, Galicia Spain. My impression was, it was fantastic, maybe because I had no expectations and did not know anything about these kinds of pilgrimages. Therefore, I repeated the “French route” in October 2015.
Back home in Sweden I booked a new flight for the next hike in spring 2009. Then it just continued. Today I have walked most of the important routes in Spain and Portugal. On the popular routes, I met many hikers from different countries and with different life experiences.
People walk Caminos for many reasons. I discovered that for me, it was a good way to think through and process the different stages of my life. However, some walk for the unique social experience, some for the adventure, and some to know the local culture. Others have lost a close friend or a partner, and they are trying to regain their footing in life. Whatever the motivation, the monotonous hours of walking almost always deepen the relationship with one’s own self and life. Personal problems often slip away in the distance, and things can soon be viewed from above. What once seemed so important loses its significance.
These narratives are about my own experiences, illustrated with my own pictures. My camera was easy to bring and was always at hand, and it simply was important to me at the time to photograph the history in which I was taking part. I had many fantastic experiences, not the least socially, which provided a wealth of photographic opportunities.
I don’t know if I am much wiser or understand more now than before, but my walking has been healthy for my body and good for my soul and I am also not a stranger to the primeval routes which the Romans, the Moors and Hannibal used before me.