Santiago Highlights: Free Walking Tour and Secretos de Galicia

Continued from Santiago Highlights: Hospedería San Martín Pinario, A Pilgrim’s Paradise.

What’s a girl to do when she no longer needs to walk 20 km a day with a backpack? Go on a walking tour, of course! I decided to explore Santiago on a walking tour I read about. Santiago D.C. Free Tours offers guided tours in English at 11 am and in Spanish at 6 pm.  No need to sign up in advance, just show up in front of the cathedral and look for someone holding a sign or umbrella.

Our guide was born and raised in Santiago, and she showed us all her favorite places. Below are some highlights of the tour.

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Replica of the silver Botafumeiro that swings in the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral during special services.

With its view of the Cathedral and the statues of famous people you can take fun photos with, the Parque de la Alameda is a very special and peaceful place to reflect on the Camino experience.

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A sculpture of the Spanish novelist, playwright, and poet Ramón Maria del Valle Inclán.

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I saw him in Pontevedra too. He’s my new BFF!

When you visit Alameda park, you will see a statue of two old ladies, known as Las dos Marías, the two Marys.

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Las dos Marias.

Legend has it that they may have lost their mind during the Spanish Civil War, believing to be young ladies themselves still, parading the city streets and park attired with colorful outfits and loads of makeup, and talking and flirting with young university students.

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Las dos Marías y yo!

The tour continues through the old town of Santiago where you can see the beautiful architectural accents on the buildings.

The market in Santiago is a must-see. Below are a few video clips.

secretosdegaliciaAt the end of the tour, we stopped in a wonderful little shop called Secretos de Galicia, where we sampled the Peregrina almond cookies, shaped like scallop shells! They were delicious, so I bought a few packs to bring home and share with friends and family. In the video below, Margarita describes the products in her lovely Galician accent. I can listen to her talk about handmade shell cookies all afternoon!

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I thanked her for her hospitality and promised to visit her shop again on my next Camino. In fact, I think everyone should stop in and say “Hola Margarita!”

Up next, pilgrim lunch at the Parador. Oh yes, I did!

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