SantiagoSantiago de Compostela is not a shoe producing town. It is the resting place of Spain’s patron saint – Santiago, or St. James the Greater. As early as the 10th century, pilgrims from all corners of Europe were embarking on a faith journey to Compostela to ask the powerful saint to intercede on their behalf.

Today pilgrims still walk the Camino de Santiago or the St.James’ Way. In summer 2013 I decided to join them and walked a small portion of the way from Bamberg, Germany, wearing my “Pamplona” espadrilles from La Rioja, which I got from the Montreal-based www.espadrillestore.com.

Here are my shoes, still looking good after a 10 km walk through fields and forest:PamplonaEspadrilles

Even if they looked bad, it still wouldn’t matter.

In the words of the Quebec chansonnier and poet Félix Leclerc:

“Paradise, my friends,

seems not for polished shoes a place.

Hurry to get your shoes dirty, my friend,

if you want to be forgiven in the end.”

 

 

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