“Alfombras no Camiño de Santiago, arte efémero para a paz no mundo”
(Carpets in the Camiño de Santiago, ephemeral art for peace in the world)
On my final day in Santiago, my final adventure of my Camino Portuguese began quite calmly.
I sat on the ground, in the main square of Santiago de Compostela, the Plaza del Obradoiro, and I was complaining that there was a major event taking place that was putting up barricades throughout the massive square and blocking off the last few meters of the Camino de Santiago to the Zero Marker at the center of the square. Pilgrims that were just arriving into town wouldn’t be able to step on the marker, and they will miss the feeling of completing their journey.
As I sat there complaining, my friend Valentina, who has the superpower of locating any Italian within 5 kilometers and getting into a conversation with them, found some Italians inside the barricaded area setting up a massive flower festival. From the conversation, we found out that Santiago de Compostela was hosting over 200 carpenters, artists and flower arrangers from all over the world in the Plaza del Obradoiro. During this festival, these participants would create brightly colored, artistic masterpieces, entirely out of flowers, sand, and other natural elements. The event is attended by 20 international groups from three continents (Italy, Mexico, Japan, Portugal or Germany, as well as Spain), with representatives from Asturias, the Canaries, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León and Catalonia. Each of these groups created their own, massive, scallop shell-shaped carpet of flowers.
It didn’t take long into her conversation for Valentina to get us involved in the event, and soon we were ripping apart flowers, detaching each individual petal, in preparation for the creation of the floral art. We also took crushed seashells and poured them in patterns around the artwork to create the parameter and then finally, also helped with the placement of the flowers.
So in one moment, I am sitting there complaining about this event that is taking up the main plaza, and in the next moment, I am right in the middle of the event working on it and having a blast with a bunch of new Italian friends.
Stop being such a BAH-HUMBUG Forrest!
Receive weekly travel news and special offers.