A modern-day pilgrimage through Spain in a cultural meditation no sophisticated traveler should be without.
Roads to Santiago is an evocative travelogue through the sights, sounds, and smells of a little known Spain-its architecture, art, history, landscapes, villages, and people. And as much as it is the story of his travels, it is an elegant and detailed chronicle of Cees Nooteboom's thirty-five-year love affair with his adopted second country. He presents a world not visible to the casual tourist, by invoking the great spirits of Spain's past-El Cid, Cervantes, Alfonso the Chaste and Alfonso the Wise, the ill-fated Hapsburgs, and Velazquez. Be it a discussion of his trip to the magnificent Prado Museum or his visit to the shrine of the Black Madonna of Guadalupe, Nooteboom writes with the depth and intelligence of an historian, the bravado of an adventurer, and the passion of a poet.
Reminiscent of Robert Hughes's Barcelona, Roads to Santiago is the consummate portrait of Spain for all readers.
About the Author:
Cees Nooteboom, one of Holland's most popular and most translated authors, has written eleven volumes of travel articles and essays. His previous books include The Following Story, winner of the 1993 European Prize, Rituals, and In the Dutch Mountains. He lives in Amsterdam.
This book invites the reader to share the excitement, experiences, even food, that the author has encountered while weaving his way, slowly and deliciously, toward the tomb of St. James...It is here, in out-of-the-way places most tourists miss, that Mr. Nooteboom lingers, chatting with peasants, contemplating local works of art, savoring simple culinary delights and thinking, always thinking...Nooteboom appears as something of a Dutch Rousseau, a solitary traveler caught in an extended reverie, a dreamer for whom every monument, every work of art transforms itself into a memory palace that unlocks Spain's history.