Apr 21st, 2019
Santiago de Compostela is absolutely humming today. What a beautiful city.
I got up at 6:30am and went over to the Pilgrim’s office to get my Compostela. I was a bit concerned that they might raise issues about the fact that we had a big gap between Leon and Sarria, but in fact the very pleasant gentleman just congratulated me and handed me my certificate. J was of course late yet again and had to queue for 10 minutes – nothing like it would have been if we had waited in the huge queue on Friday.
Then we went to see the Portico Gloria which was the original internal gateway to the cathedral. Unfortunately the tour was all in Spanish, and it did occur to me that it would have been really easy to have recorded a basic English version – not just for the benefit of native speakers, but for all the German, French, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Chinese etc. people who where they have a second language, it is likely to be English. No photos allowed either.
Then we went to mass in the basilica of San Francisco. It was wonderful – I have never heard anything like the beautiful voice of the priest doing the sung parts. Unfortunately, the church was packed, and my feet were so sore by the end that I was relieved to kneel down from time to time.
As we were coming out of the church, we heard the beat of drums and a brilliant procession went past us. I will say that Protestantism has a lot to answer for in killing off the joy, colour, and drama associated with religious belief.
We went to our appartment after that – what a relief it will be to have three nights all in the same place rather than having to pack all our stuff up and move on every night. The flat is actually brilliant – every conceivable mod-con, polished wooden floors, a bar with every conceivable drink and a pool table of all things!
We are going to chill out and look at the rest of Santiago tomorrow and go to A Corruna on Tuesday so we can make sure everything is open again.