The Road to Santiago

René Freund / Translated by Janina Joffe

‘A wonderfully wry and amusing account of what it is like to be a modern-day pilgrim. . . . The author . . . describes looking up and seeing a fighter jet screaming overhead. “It would take a jet less than an hour to get to Santiago,’ Freund cannot help reflecting, ‘and we still have six weeks ahead of us. We are walking anachronisms.” Yet it is precisely the anachronistic quality of what he is doing that makes it so fascinating a theme.’

‘Conveys the excitement and anxieties of the pilgrim, coloured with tales of hospitality that echo Patrick Leigh-Fermor’s walk to Constantinople. There is something of Chaucer, too, in his evocation of that singular bond among foot travellers.’
Times Literary Supplement  


Every year, thousands of people make the pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, honouring a centuries-old Christian tradition by walking the Way of St James. The Road to Santiago is one man’s incredible story of walking almost a thousand miles to experience it for himself. Introducing us to the overwhelming natural beauty encountered along the way. René Freund shares his experience of reaching his physical and psychological limits during this most arduous of spiritual journeys. As he reaches the edge of the European continent – thought to be the end of the world by pilgrims of former times – he learns that the old pilgrim’s saying is true: the journey does not end in Santiago, there it begins.

RENÉ FREUND has worked as a journalist, translator, and producer. He lives in the Austrian Salzkammergut.

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