2010 happens to be a Holy Year (so called when July 25 falls on a Sunday). Since medieval times, travelers, called “pilgrims,” made the trek from all over Europe to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. Their spiritual journey was called the Way of St. James and was meant to earn an indulgence, or absolution of sins.
What is astounding is that over 1,000 years later, the pilgrimage to Santiago continues. Last month, I was in Santiago with today’s pilgrims. And, while the religious significance of the journey may no longer be a driving force, many of today’s travelers seek the challenge of walking a historically significant route, appreciating the chance for spiritual reflection along the way.
Whatever the reason for the trek, no longer do travelers rely on the kindness of strangers for lodging and food. In today’s Santiago, they can enjoy the 5-star Parador de Santiago de Compostela as well as fine dining in the city’s many restaurants.
Personal rejuvenation is certainly there for the taking in Spain this year. Consider renewing your mind with an afternoon at the Prado in Madrid, which houses one of the world’s largest collections of European art. Maybe a 30-course meal at El Bulli, one of the world’s 50 best restaurants and the passion of renowned chef Ferran Adrià, will refuel your belly and your soul.
Perhaps relaxing in the luxury of the ABaC Hotel in Barcelona, where your every need is anticipated, is the restorative you desire. Or, why not stroll the gardens of Alhambra in Granada to revive your imagination? Getting away to a country that offers you a combination of art, architecture, history, culture, fashion and food is the perfect opportunity to revitalize and rejuvenate.
Wherever you decide to go – enjoy, relax and experience!
Jennifer Campbell is a partner and travel consultant with Explorations. Contact her at Jennifer@explorationsltd.com.