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The Pilgrimage by Car

The pilgrimage was traditionally made on foot, and nowadays it can also be made on horseback or by bicycle.

But it is extremely unusual to follow the route by car. Since Carl Benz invented the first gasoline motorcar in 1885 to the present, many adventurers have arrived in Compostela driving different car models and trademarks, so that contemporary history combines with ancient times.

 

The last who made the route in such an ucommon way were the members of the Belgian "Historical Vehicle Club", who organised a touristic rally along Santiago Route.

The journey begun in Brussels, where is the central office of the club. Its members, more than 250 throughout Europe are required to have a vehicle at least 40 years old. Twenty-nine historic cars -in an excellent conditon, and with a speed below 60km/hour- left for Paris, where they took a train to Biarritz.

After being disembarked carefully, the cars began the journey to Pamplona and Logroño.

When they passed through La Rioja the drivers had to deal with some problems, like the absence of road signs at some crossings, with the result that some of them ended up in the Monastery of Valvanera. In the Monastery of Yuso they had booked rooms and a visit to the Monasteries of San Millán. While the drivers and their travelling companions visited the monuments, the local inhabitants and tourists could view and take photographs of mythical cars such as "Porsches" or "Ferrari". The most admired though were the seniors: a French "Delage" from 1927, and an Italian "Bugatti" from 1938.

The journey through La Rioja culminated in a visit to a wine cellar, where they could taste the local wine, in moderation, because the alcohol limit does not change for those who drive a historic car.