San Sebastián: Camino de Santiago

My second greatest decision ever was to sign up for a guided hike along the Camino de Santiago, also known as the Way of St. James. This is a pilgrimage that can begin in Portugal, Spain, or France, with several paths within each starting country, and ends in the town of Santiago de Compostela. Our guide told us the pilgrimage takes anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on the pilgrim’s starting point and pace.

The French Way is the most popular, but we walked along the Northern Way, which runs from Irún (in France) to Santiago de Compostela, with stops in, where else, San Sebastián, Bilbao and smaller towns. We actually walked the camino backwards (towards Irún) and then deviated slightly to hike down into the inlet town of Pasaia to get a light lunch and a bus back into town.

Our guide (the indefatigable Tomasz once again, who told us that he’s pretty much a one-man show for tours in San Sebastián) said that the Northern Way is not as straightforward as it goes along the coast, thus, the hiking is harder. Let me be the first to tell you that my legs definitely felt that by the end.

We ended up hiking about 6km high up on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It was gorgeous and slightly terrifying at times. But worth it.

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Tomasz said that he does a hike like this 1-2 times a week. This is near the start of our hike. We had to climb up a million stairs at the very beginning and that’s when we knew we were going to be TIRED by the end. but hey! Doesn’t the city look so pretty in the background?

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Tomasz was super afraid we were going to fall off a cliffside the entire time.

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This is a rowing team practicing for an upcoming race. Their coach is in the small boat beside them yelling. It was rather funny.
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The last set of stairs we climbed down to get to Pasaia
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Old aqueduct to get fresh water into the city
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