Day Seventy Seven. 6.8 Miles, 11.0 Kilometers. Total miles walked to date: 969.1. Total Kilometers: 1,558.1.
Written on July 5, 2012.
We have arrived in Santiago de Compostela!! We walked for a short time this morning. We arrived at 9:30 a.m. There were other Pilgrims walking in at the same time. We all seemed to be walking at a fast pace. There was definitely excitement “in the air”.
A sign at the entrance of Santiago.
Many people were going to the same place: The Oficina del Peregrino, (Pilgrim Office). We were at the office for approximately thirty minutes. The volunteer helping me looked up my Latin name and added it to my Compostela.
We left the Pilgrim Office and saw many people either coming into Santiago or were already here. We wanted to leave our backpacks at our room so we could go to the Cathedral for the Pilgrim Mass by 12:00 noon.
We heard from many people that today the Botafumeriro will be used. It is a giant incense burner, a symbol of an ancient tradition to fumigate Pilgrims.
The swinging Botafumeiro.
The Plaza in front of the Cathedral is full of excitement, contemplation, gathering of friends, and a wonderful view of the Cathedral.
Vern and I in front of the Cathedral in Santiago.
We saw many Pilgrim friends today, some who we have been seeing everyday, and some who we have not seen for two or more weeks. We were at the Mass with Tom, Kat, and Robbie. We saw Barbara and Jordan before Mass and Dieter shortly after.
Barbara and son, Jordan, from Texas.
Vern and Dieter.
Vern and I last saw Dieter as he rode by us on his bicycle many days ago. It was very special for us to see Dieter at the Cathedral. We have known many Pilgrims who walk the Camino de Santiago, but have never known anyone who is a bicyclist. We are grateful for the time that we have spent with Dieter and that the perfect “timing” of the Camino allowed us to see him before he left for the airport today.
A few days ago we met Anna, her parents, Jose Miguel, and Consuelo. We saw them yesterday and made a plan to meet for lunch after Mass. We ate at a very good place in Santiago….Gato Negro.
Vern, Consuelo, Jose Miguel, and Ana.
We had a great lunch and a fun time together. We decided to go back to our rooms and then meet again at 7:30 p.m. We were in the Plaza and saw Jose Miguel. He proceeded to take us on a wonderful tour of the Parador, Hostal dos Reis Catolicos, built in 1492.
One example of the exquisite beauty of the Parador in Santiago.
After some time together in the evening we were walking back toward the Parador and discovered that a band was playing.
A Tuno Band.
We had a wonderful time singing and dancing to the music of this band. What a great way to say hasta luego after an incredible evening!
Tomorrow we will stay in Santiago. On Saturday we will start walking toward Finisterre.