Useful Information about the Camino de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela teaches us lessons, about ourselves, and the world we live in. When we walk the Camino, we exercise our bodies as well as our minds.

Are you ready for the challenge?


Useful Phrases en Route

I’m looking for…
Where is…?
How much is…?
Too expensive
Je suis à la recherche de…
Ou se trouve…?
Combien coute…?
Trop chère
Does anyone here speak English?
Good morning
Good evening
Bye/See you
Thank you
Sorry/Excuse me
What’s your name?
My name is
Can I have a … beer please/a glass of wine/coffee with milk

Quelqu’un parle Anglais?
Au revoir
S’il vous plait
Quel est votre prénom?
Je m’appelle
Je voudrais….une biere s’il vous plait/un verre de vin/café crème
How do I get to…?
Is it far? 
Go straight ahead
Turn left, Turn right
Comment faire pour aller à…?
C’est loin?
Tout droit
Tourner a gauche, Tourner a droite
Police Station
Gendarmerie, police nationale
I need help
I’m sick
An ambulance, A doctor
The police/the fireman
I am lost
It’s an emergency
I’m allergic to: Milk products Peanuts ShellfishTree nuts Eggs Fish Soy Wheat
I’m vegetarian
Meat, Beef, Chicken
Pork, Ham, Fish
Potatoes, Salad, Onion
Ice cream, Strawberry
Sparkling water, Natural water
CoffeeExpresso with milk
J’ai besoin d’aide
Appel le…!
Je suis malade
Une ambulance, Un medecin
La police/ Les pompiers
Je suis perdu
C’est une urgence
Je suis allergique à: Produits laitiers Cacahuete Fruits de mer Noix Oeufs Poisson Soja Blé
Je suis végétarien
Viande, Boeuf, Poulet
Porc, Jambon, Poisson
Pommes de terre, Salade, Onion
Glace, Fraise
Eau gazeuse, Eau plate
Café(=expresso), Noisette
What time does … leave/arrive?
The bus, the plane, the train, Airport
Time table
A qu’elle heure le….part/arrive?

Le bus, l’avion, le train

Post office/ Tourist Office
What time is it?
Today, tomorrow, yesterday
Morning, afternoon, evening, night
La Poste/ Office du tourisme
Qu’elle heure est-il?
Aujourd’hui, demain, hier matin, Après-midi, soir, nuit

The Shell Story

The earliest records of visits paid to the shrine dedicated to St. James at Santiago de Compostela date from the 9th century. It became customary for those who returned from Compostela to carry a Galician scallop shell as proof of their completion of the journey. The scallop shell has long been the symbol of the Camino de Santiago. The most common myth about the origin of the symbol concern the death of Saint James, who was martyred by beheading in Jerusalem in 44 AD. According to Spanish legends, he had spent time preaching the Gospel in Spain, but returned to Judaea upon seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary on the bank of the Ebro River. After James’s death, his disciples shipped his body to the Iberian Peninsula to be buried in what is now Santiago. Off the coast of Spain, a heavy storm hit the ship, and the body was lost to the ocean. After some time, however, it washed ashore undamaged, covered in scallops. The grooves in the shell, which meet at a single point, represent the various routes pilgrims travelled, eventually arriving at a single destination: the tomb of James in Santiago de Compostela. The shell is seen on posts and signs along the Camino in order to guide pilgrims along the way.

The Compostela (“field of stars”)

Today, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims make their way to Santiago de Compostela via one of the pilgrims’ routes. On arrival, many attend a Pilgrim’s Mass held in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela each day at 12:00 and 19:30. Pilgrims who received the Compostela the day before have their countries of origin and the starting point of their pilgrimage announced at the Mass. The Compostela is a certificate of accomplishment given to pilgrims on completing the Way. To earn the Compostela one needs to walk at least 100 km or cycle at least 200 km. The Pilgrim’s Office gives more than 100,000 compostelas each year to pilgrims from more than 100 different countries.

On my blog, and in my books, you’ll find loads of information about the Camino and about making the most of your walk.