Students leave classroom behind for three week trek across Spain

Last summer, several students from CSB and SJU  exchanged the fast track life of a college student for a three week cultural, religious, spiritual, and touristic cross-country journey on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (Way of St. James) in Santiago, Spain.

The pilgrimage is a three-week course offered through the CSB and SJU Hispanic Studies Department.

Class was a daily 20-mile hike

Jack Ries '11, Amanda Forstroh '10, Angela Leinen '10, Justin Rose '11 and Alexander Brehm'11 hiked an average of 20 miles per day in order to complete the pilgrimage. The group was led by José A. Fábres, CSB and SJU professor of Hispanic Studies.

The Camino de Santiago is a collection of old pilgrimage routes across Europe. All of the routes include Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain as their final destination. The CSB and SJU students started their pilgrimage at León, Spain — earning the "Compostela certificate" for their efforts.

Each day consisted of starting early in the morning, walking 4 to 5 hours and then finding a hostel to stay in for the night. The group spent afternoons/evenings resting and getting to know the city or village where they stayed.

The students spent about €25 per day totaling less than €1000 for the entire trip, about $1400 American dollars. The cost of the hostels was normally between €3 and €10. Menus were affordable and they included a three course meal for about to €7 to €10.

After the three week voyage, the students reached the final destination — the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela , where the Apostle James is buried.