The Camino is an ancient route and millions have traveled it before us. What you might not know is that there are many ways to Santiago. Other popular routes include El Norte (North Route), Primitivo, Portuguese and many others. This far into the trip, every few days we see another route merging with our own (French Route).
You have probably seen the scallop shell icon in many of our pictures. We also each have one tied one to our back pack. The shell has many lines on it that all converge on one side. This is symbolic of many paths coming into one at Santiago. This symbol is everywhere you look.
Not only is it a contemporary symbol of the Camino, but is has been around for a long time. If you look closely at altar pieces from the middle ages you will often see St. James with a scallop on this hat or on this chest. They have been using this symbol for centuries.
To mark they Way they put this scallop everywhere. If you are confused on where to go, you can usually look around a little bit and see one of these symbols on the ground, on a sign or mounted on a wall nearby. In many towns, this symbol is embedded in the concrete every few feet. Just make like PacMan and chomp the dots.
Here are a few we have seen along the way.