Today’s session will start at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time and end at 2:25 p.m.
11:00 a.m. Welcome, Orientation, Introductions. The Group Leader will greet everyone and review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, Zoom meeting protocols, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions. We will then say hello to our fellow Road Scholars. 11:30 a.m. Lecture. It has been speculated that what became known as the Camino de Santiago — Way of St. James — actually originated in pre-Christian times. But it was during the 9th Century CE that it became associated with St. James the Apostle. We will learn about the threads of religious tradition that were woven into this tapestry of faith as well as the geography and culture of the many different pilgrimage routes. While it began as a religious journey, many people today also follow the great network of routes for reasons such as fitness, mental relaxation, and connections with nature. All those who walk the Caminos are still known as “peregrinos.” At the end of the lecture, we will have a Q&A session.
12:20 p.m. Break. 12:35 p.m. Virtual field trip. We will focus on the Via de la Plata, the longest pilgrimage route to Santiago, covering the length of the country from Andalusia through Extremadura, and over Roman roads that joined Emerita Augusta (Mérida) and Asturica Augusta (Astorga). On our way, we’ll retrace the history of the Iberian Peninsula and the Roman conquest. Later we’ll view the hauntingly beautiful coastline of Cabo Finisterre. Although not actually Spain’s most westerly point, it was believed in ancient times to be “the end of the world.” Our journey will end in Santiago as we share the feelings of those who have completed their pilgrimage. With Q&A. 1:30 p.m. Break. 1:40 p.m. Lecture. We’ll have an introduction to food and wines of northern Spain. We’ll learn about the diverse and sophisticated gastronomical delights in one of the most renowned areas of the country. 2:20 p.m. Wrap-up and notes for tomorrow.