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Sunday, October 30, 2011

8 Days on the Via de la Plata: Sevilla to Santiago

Somewhere along the way, my blog posts on the VDLP have been deleted.
Not sure how it happened or why,
but I wanted to repost the information
since it might be helpful to others wanting to make this Camino.

The Vía de la Plata is a pilgrimage route also called the Camino Mozárabe. 
The name is said by Alison Raju to come 
from a corruption of the Arabaic bal'latta
used to describe wide, paved, or public roads.  

This route, with a network of tributaries, 
carried pilgrims from Seville to Santiago, 
passing through other interesting towns/cities such as 
Mérida, Cácares, Salamanca, and Zamora.   
Other roads hooking up with the VDLP began in Granada or Cordoba.

The original route was a Roman road, 
and there is much evidence of the Romans all along the way.
The largest and most spectacular of these are at Italica and Merida.
Sections of the old Roman paved route have been restored.
There are also hot springs along this route,
and I can't wait to enjoy them!

The walk can be completed in six to seven weeks.
As along the Camino Frances, there are yellow waymarks to follow.
However, be cautioned that along this route, 
you will need to carry water, 
as fountains listed in the guidebooks
are not always available.

Against caution from friends, we set out on August 18 for the Via de la Plata.

We arrived in Santiago around 8 pm.
We took the bus to town and walked to Hostal Suso at Rua do Pilar.
The price was 36 Euro for a doble.
It is next to the tourist office in old town.
We arrived about 9 pm only to be told by Fernando
that they werehaving toilet troubles! 
But no worries!
He was wonderful!
He had booked a place for us in the nearby Residencia La Carballinesa.
We settled into our room, then went looking for dinner.
Lucky for us people in Spain eat late! 
We had a lovely dinner of Galician pie and deep fried Calamari!
YUM!

The  Residencia was very nice,
with patios and nice clean rooms.
The only problem for me was the very strong perfume fragrance in the room.
It made my eyes water,
but after opening the patio window,
I finally got to sleep.

For our troubles,
Fernando offered us a free breakfast next morning.
It was simple, but good: coffee and sweets.
We moved into our room at his place and wished we'd stayed put.
Although the room was lovely,
it was right on a main street and the borachos kept us up all night long!


Next day we took a bus to Salamanca.
A 3 hour layover there, and then on to Sevilla.
I didn't have coffee that morning because I was worried
there wouldn't be a toilet on the bus.
I was right, there was none.
However, the bus driver made plenty of stops
and allowed passengers to use the toilets while he waited.
It worked out fine.
During our 3 hour layover, we explored a bit.
I can't wait to see Salamanca!

Price from Santiago to Sevilla on ALSA bus was 54 Euro,
quite affordable!
The bus left at 8:30 am and arrived in Salamanca at 2:30 pm.
We got onto our bus to Sevilla around 5:30 pm
and arrived in Sevilla at 10 pm.
I think if you could find a bus straight through you'd save a lot of time,
but we enjoyed the scenery so it was fine.
The ALSA buses are large and clean and have wonderful windows for viewing!

Seville

In Sevilla, we stayed at the Hotel Zaida at San Roque 26.
This was a beautiful little Hotel and I will stay here again!

When we were walking to the Hotel I was a little concerned.
The alleys didn't look too inviting 
nor did the entrance from a few hundred yards away.

Once I reached the entrance,
I felt happy, and once inside, thrilled!

The Entrance to Hotel Zaida
The Reception Area

Double Room

Staircase - we were on the 2d floor
 What a beautiful little place!
Like walking into the movie CasaBlanca.
And they had air conditioning! 
Believe me, if you are in Seville in August, you WANT air conditioning!
It was 105 degrees F the next day, and the air conditioning was a blessing.

Speaking of August, I had done a lot of research
and several people had cautioned me against beginning this trek in August.
But I thought I knew better than they.
I grew up in the hot San Joaquin Valley
where summer days were often 105 to 108 degrees F. 


Boy was I wrong! 
But more about that later.

We found our hotel, got settled in,
and had a very good night's sleep.

* * *

Note:  If you are interested in walking the Camino Santiago, 
but are not quite ready to go it alone, 
consider joining Annie
on one of our small, affordable Camino walks. 
For more information see our website 
at this link: AnnieWalkers Camino

3 comments:

  1. I think getting to repost this could be fun! and nice reading for those of us who may not have read them before. The lobby in Salamanca looks amazing. Haven't been in that city since I was 13...I feel old now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had to go back and make sure I didn't make a mistake. The lobby is the hotel in Seville and it was beautiful!

    You aren't old :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Reading this was a walk down memory lane. I'd like to walk this route again.

    ReplyDelete

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