SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA – After recent incidents such as hikers setting up a tent in Obradoiro Square in front of the famous cathedral and attempting to climb the Holy Door, another pilgrim has misbehaved upon arrival in the city centre of Santiago.
This time a hiker covered the last kilometres of the Camino Francés with a route sign of the Camino de Santiago on his shoulder.
With a clear German accent, the young man indicated that he had found the pole with the sign on the ground and had decided to take it with him to Santiago. Filled with enthusiasm and joy at his impending arrival at Santiago Cathedral, he brought the sign to Obradoiro Square as if it were a sacrifice.
Pleased with his “achievement,” the young man then posed for photos, surrounded by fellow pilgrims. Without thinking twice, he left the sign somewhere in town. At around 1.30 pm on Friday, the sign was found leaning against the side of Casa da Conga, overlooking the plaza near the Holy Door. However, the Pilgrim’s Welcome Office was not aware of the incident. Therefore, it now appears that whoever finds the sign gets to take it.
Lack of civilisation
Earlier it was mentioned that the entrance sign to Santiago functions as a repository of physical memories of the pilgrims, including worn hiking boots. Many see this as yet another sign of a lack of civilisation among some pilgrims.
Santiago has long experienced a lack of respect from the pilgrims for the city and its inhabitants. Walls of buildings that are cultural heritage are daubed, and pilgrims sit down and eat and leave their rubbish behind. Walkers write the number of kilometres walked on the walls of the cathedral in chalk or climb the statues at the entrance.
Consequently, residents of the city have now released a video pleading that pilgrims make their journey without causing inconvenience to residents along the route or in Santiago.