Date: Sun 9th June
Highlight: Following the tradition of pilgrims
Whilst packing in as much as we could, we still had time for a small sleep in! However, this came at a cost of missing breakfast so we could attend the Sunday pilgrims mass (again). Now being a little more wiser, we found ourselves seats not in the main nave as yesterday, but rather the transverse nave, as this is the path of the swinging incense (take note fellow pilgrims). We arrived around 11am and being a Sunday, it filled much quicker than the day before, but good seats we got.
Again at the end of the service, they concluded with the swinging of the incense (this possibly means that they perform this ritual at every pilgrims mass, but cannot be sure). Whilst we cannot understand a word of Spanish, we now don’t think they read out names, but rather the country pilgrims are from and from where they started their pilgrimage. We again enjoyed the service and had more time to soak it all in!
Straight after we had to dash to view the Palacios as had limited opening hours and after a small misunderstanding, we had got ourselves attached to a Spanish speaking tour of the Cathedral roof top! Whilst we already had tickets for the English tour later in the day, there was no way we could escape as they had locked us in. Well it was entertaining and couldn’t complain getting 2 tours of the roof top in the same day, as the views are excellent and we also learnt a lot (on the English tour that is). We still made it to the Palacios after which we viewed the Cathedrals Museum by which stage the day was pretty much over and we had overdosed on all that was on offer!
During the day we had the opportunity to follow the time worn pilgrims tradition of viewing the Pórtico de la Gloria (as much as we could as it is undergoing restoration), which included sneaking a touch of the Tree of Life as it is now corded off. We visited the tomb / crypt of St James followed by giving St James a hug who presides at the main altar inside the cathedral. We didn’t burn our old pilgrim clothes or bathe in the fountain as they once did, as the church no longer hands out new clothes, (what a shame, as we are now stuck with the same clothes for another 3 weeks!)
One of us enjoyed another soak in the old tub back at the Hotel (slightly better than the fountain and the sight doesn’t upset our fellow pilgrims), whilst the other braved the night for some nighttime photos as it will be up early to leave for Barcelona tomorrow!
Goodbye Santiago! We will miss you and the warmth that we experienced in your Cathedral. We felt that this was indeed the people’s church, rather than a glorified monument as experienced in other great Cathedrals!
This concludes our Camino adventure. Feel free to join us as we continue our adventure to Barcelona and into Italy, but we cannot guarantee we can Blog as regularly.