(Jacaranda, Syringa, bouganvilla in Johannesburg Parks)
The beauty of the countryside from the Pyrenees to Finisterre - a little village on the Atlantic coast which was considered the end of the world until Christopher Columbus sailed to the Americas. We walked up and down mountains, through glorious forests, open meadows, vineyards, vegetable gardens and grain fields. And of course towns, villages and hamlets made up of just the farmer's house and his barn.
The people of northern Spain (many of whom are Basque) have a great sense of pride and the towns and villages are spotless (sadly the only litter is left by passing pilgrims). They plant flowers everywhere, in window boxes and in all their parks and open spaces - the colour was spectacular. The young girls are beautiful with dark hair and eyes, slim with long legs. We met lots of hard working people, looking after the pilgrims and working on their farms.
The churches were generally very ornately decorated, many with gold from the New World, and I felt they were wonderful monuments to the craftsmen who built them, but they didn't feel very sacred. If anything many of them were more like museums. The Marian tradition is very strong in that part of Spain so the Madonna was prominent and it was hard to find Jesus (usually tucked away in a side chapel!). I have always loved old churches but by the time the Camino was over I was all churched out!