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Friday, March 28, 2014

DAYS 198 - 200 - 100 Pilgrims Per Hour Walk to the Cathedral!

Oct 3, 4, 5 - Walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela

We had hosted a couple of couch surfers the summer of 2012 - one from Canada and her friend from Santiago de Compostela.  So, this was to be our next destination.  Gloria was a sweetheart to receive some of my packages of souvenirs that I had mailed from Rumania, Germany and a couple of other places.  Since we were leaving in a couple of days back to the States, we took these with us.
Leaving Catalonia by train for northeast Spain.

We saw fields and fields of beautiful sunflowers along the way.

When we arrived at Santiago de Compostela, we saw many old buildings that had a lot of history.  Here are a few photos as we worked our way to the old towne area.

The pilgrimage goes to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried. Legend has it that St. James' body was taken to Galicia by boat from Jerusalem and carried inland to where Santiago de Compostela is now located. The pilgrimage is believed by some to be one of three pilgrimages for which the sins of the pilgrim will be forgiven.  People have been walking the trail since the Middle Ages.
You can see on this building some sketches of pilgrims walking.

We arrived on a rainy day as we made our way through the old streets.


Once on the Camino, the pilgrim has three duties: to sleep, to eat, and to walk.

The local town cryer was a cool old man who had lots of personality as he wandered up and down the streets of Santiago de Compostela.


The cathedral is the supposed burial-place of St. James the Great, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ. The building is a Romanesque structure with later Gothic and Baroque additions.

The Cathedral is the center of EVERYTHING with Pilgrims coming from EVERYWHERE!
 We went inside and it really was a very sacred eddifice

According to legend, the apostle Saint James the Great brought Christianity to the Celts in the Iberian Peninsula. In 44 AD he was beheaded in Jerusalem.  His remains were later brought back to Galicia, Spain. Following Roman persecutions of Spanish Christians, his tomb was abandoned in the 3rd century.

The tomb was rediscovered in 814 AD by the hermit Pelagius, after he witnessed strange lights in the night sky.  Bishop Theodomirus of Iria recognized this as a miracle and informed king Alfonso II of Asturias and Galicia (791-842). The king ordered the construction of a chapel on the site. The king was the first pilgrim to this shrine. This was followed by the first church in 829 AD.
We walked down to see the actual tomb of St. James.
Then it was up and behind the golden statue of St. James where people could put their arms around his shoulders and hug him.

G-O-L-D everywhere - it really was a magnificent cathedral.
St. James....the Apostle of Jesus Christ who supposedly is buried here in the Cathedral.

We'll have to come back tomorrow when it's a sunny day.

Hey...the rain has stopped for a moment!

So we did...we came back the next day to see the Cathedral in the sun.

I ended up going to each entrance and seeing all the ways to get into the cathedral.  It was just magnificent.

In the middle of the square, you can see the Power of Intellect, Church, Government, and Kings...there are four different buildings to look at with each a different purpose.  So interesting!

One of the most fun things to do was to watch all of the people come into the city.  There was one main way to come in, so when you came in that way, the Cathedral was spectacular and all of the people would look up in awe.  They came with walking sticks, backpacks, and most looked REALLY tired from walking hundreds of miles.
Enjoy all the following pictures which we took on the first day while it was raining and on the next day when it was not.  We saw all kinds of people - young and old!  Some were even injured, walking with crutches or a cane.  Others had bandages on their knees.  It was pretty crazy!
This guy didn't have an arm.

I loved seeing young people reach the final destination.

Many just laid down and looked at the Cathedral after their long journey.

Next....the Pilgrims would wait in a long line to get their certificate.

This one was NOT one of the Pilgrims!

This older couple was so proud to show us their certificate which meant they would have ETERNAL LIFE!!

Bicycling was ok, too, to be counted as a Pilgrim.

Gloria wanted to take us to one of her favorite restaurants for some authentic Spanish tapas.

Scrumptious Razor Clams

The cheese-stuffed eggplant was to die for!

These razor clams are quite tasty!  You won't find these in Idaho!

Sea Bass for our entree - dee-lish!

Dessert - a pancake with caramel and ice cream - YUM!

Enjoying our time with Gloria in Santiago de Compostela

What a great host Gloria was!  We loved our time with her!
The next day found us wandering around the city, exploring new sites and enjoying the beautiful weather.

Isn't this a great photo in which Rich captured a butterfly resting?

I love these beautifully knitted flower pots on the walls.

One of these days I'm going to get up to a Juliette window!

Shall I take a bite of this prickly fruit off the tree?  (I think not!)

 Our interesting trip to the MARKET!!

These were REALLY good, but I can't remember what they were - oops!

Do people really eat EVERYTHING on the chickens?

Please Senorita - Can you spare some change in my hat!

On the next post, we actually will walk on the Camino Trail - about 10 kilometers....really fun!