My first full day in Spain’s Galicia region began where pilgrims first enter Galicia when taking the French Way route of the Camino de Santiago. If they started on the French side of the Pyrenees mountains, they have already walked (or biked, or ridden horseback) hundreds of miles. The view from the entry point at O Cebreiro is quite a reward:

The small village is home to the Church of Santa María la Real (above) and provides services for pilgrims to rest, grab a sandwich, spend the night, and just enjoy the welcoming view of this green corner of Spain.

Next stop for me was the Monastery of St Julian of Samos. The building burned in 1558 and again in 1951 but was rebuilt both times and remains an active Benedictine monastery.

The hallways are covered in murals painted in a variety of styles and the gardens, at the time of my visit in July, were filled with blooming hydrangeas.

In the next posts, we’ll visit the town of Sarria and several other important sites the road toward Santiago de Compostela.

Michael C. Snell photography

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