It was a long journey in a small car, but one that left lasting memories. Much of the route followed the journey that the author Laurie Lee described in his book, “As I walked one Midsummer Morning”.

This was an unforgettable trip in the late 1980s that took us by car from Luxembourg through France – via Champagne, the Loire Valley, Cognac, Armagnac, Bordeaux – and then onwards over the Pyrenees into Spain. The towns and cities slipped by – including Santiago del Compostella, Vigo, and Madrid. Heading south through southern Spain, the road led into Portugal and the village of Sagres on the most westerly, southerly tip of Europe. The beach in Sagres was perfect, cooled by a breeze from across the Atlantic Ocean.

My good friend Heidi travelled with me and shared every precious moment of this journey.

The Holy Week procession in Santiago del Compostella led by the men dressed in white gowns with sinister pointed hoods that covered their faces, was surreal. The participants were wearing penitential robes or nazarenos.  They look like a tunic and cloak and have a hood with a conical tip called a capirote.  The colours are quite dramatic and vary between processions.  The whole appearance is a throwback to medieval times when the penitents could carry out their penance without being recognised. During the parade, groups wearing one colour nazarenos and capirote, represented a religious brotherhood, most often from the same church or village.

The quality of the images is poor as they have been recovered from old negatives.


Leave a comment