Camino de Santiago Day 0

So, it’s time to start talking about my Camino. As I write these lines, my journey is not even close to over, but emotions tend to lose details and colors, so I want to write down everything in hot pursuit.

The universe is giving signs 😁

Getting to the start of the Camino de Santiago

Canonically, the Camino is supposed to start from the door of your home, but the idea of “running from Berlin to Santiago de Compostela” did not even occur to my perverted brain (thank you!).

By the way, Ukrainians are also involved in the St. James’ Way. In Ukraine, there is a route from Vinnytsia to Kamianets Podilskyi, through the city of Bar. Unfortunately, I don’t know if the route is still in effect, but it used to be possible to take a pilgrim’s passport at the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Angels and go to 12 more places along the way, collecting seals and admiring the beauty of our country. More details can be found here.
Also, our enthusiasts planned to restore the ancient Via Regia route, which led to Santiago de Compostela from Kyiv!

Via Regia from Kyiv

But back to France and Spain. So, I was faced with the task of getting to the official start of the St. James Way (or Camino de Santiago) in the small French town of St. Jean Pied de Port (I have only just learned its correct name).

There are several ways to do this, but I chose the most optimal one for me – by plane to Paris, then by plane to the city of Biarritz, from there by bus to the city of Bayonne and from there by train to St. Jean Pied de Port. In this city, it might have seemed that running away from Berlin was not such a bad idea (it still isn’t).

Even during the flight, the weather hinted that it would not be easy

Moving from theory to action

The flight is at 7:20, which means we have to wake up at 4. It’s a hard life for a pilgrim. Last minute preparations, nerves are starting to play, but there’s nothing to be done.
We arrive at the airport at 6, I give Nastia my jacket and go to the security line. The control is soooo slow. You have to take out all the liquids, electronics, etc. I spent a total of 30 minutes in line, and came to boarding when she was already leaving, and all because one pair was so unpacked that they took up 10 trays!


The city of lovers, which I never wanted to go to, turned out to be exactly as I imagined it to be – dirty (I’m talking after Berlin) and full of immigrants.
But, to be honest, I changed my mind about the city and want to come back, because there is a lot to see there.
Even the tower, which I didn’t like because of the chaos and garbage around it, is still interesting as an architectural structure that you can climb.

Me and the symbol of lovers

I walked around Paris for a while, tried to visit Macron, but he is not welcome – the entire block around his palace is guarded by police with machine guns and you even have to walk across the street from the palace 🤦‍♂️

Mokron, come out!

Not seeing the president, I started to make my way to the airport. Subway, then tram, and finally Orlybus, where my ticket said it was not valid, so I was basically riding as a hare.

At the airport, security checks are again, but faster than in Berlin, so I go through the gate without nerves. And then the boarding is moved to another gate. Okay, I go to another one, wait for 20 minutes and nothing happens. Then I get a message from Kiwi (through whom I booked the tickets) that the flight is in an hour and then I hear an announcement on the loudspeaker.
I realize that this somewhat messes with my plans, so I went to buy some bread.

Not Miami

An hour later, we still didn’t take off, we took off in about an hour and a half. We arrive in Biarritz, but I still have a bus to catch. It’s raining outside, the bus is in 15 minutes. Well, okay. I bought a ticket, waited for the bus, and we’re going.

Our party airport bass

I arrived, walked to the hotel, checked in, and decided to go look for food. Everything I checked on the Google map was already closed, but my feet somehow brought me to an Irish pub. At first, I thought I needed to look for some decent food and went to a store nearby.
I was disappointed with the food selection, so I bought a couple of croissants and ate them on the way to the pub.

1 glass of Guinness to loosen up the nerves that are tied in a tight knot and go to bed. And tomorrow is the first day, but that’s the topic of another post.

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