Monday, June 23, 2014

WE MADE IT!!

We walked into Santiago on Saturday, 21 June, about noon. (There is about a mile or a mile and a half of Santiago to walk through before you get to the historic center area.)
We found a place to stay, a lovely little apartment on a tiny street next to the ring road around the old city. And then we walked over to the Pilgrim Office to register our Credenciales for the Compostela certificate. We saw familiar faces there, people who had walked into town earlier in the day, like the brave Japanese girl Enny, who is just a tiny thing, but she walked almost all of the Camino by herself. And we saw the American Pilgrims hospitalera from Carrion de los Condes, where she had been helping out the Augustinas for a couple of weeks. She is now on her second two weeks of helping, serving as the greeter at the door of the Pilgrim Office. Lovely lady.
After we had our Compostelas in hand, and safely encased in the cardboard tubes they sell for protection, we went to the Cathedral.
There is a Capilla de la Santissima there, so I stopped to give thanks. My sweetie took millions of pictures. We venerated the bones of the Apostle and touched the reliquary, too. (The famous statue in the Porta de Gloria is in a repair/remodeling zone, so we didn´t try to go to that one.)
And we had a glass of tinto and got bread, cheese, meat, and a bottle of wine to share for dinner in our apartment. Then we went back to lie down for a while.
Surprise! At 5:30 PM the city had a downpour! We rushed to close windows and said, "gosh, this reminds us of afternoon in Houston!"
Yesterday we went to the noon Pilgrim Mass at the cathedral. It was Corpus Christi. And Mass was absolutely transporting. Also, they swung the Botafumeiro, too! And I have never in my life seen so many people in church for Mass. All the little wooden pews were full. The transept pews, too. And all the side aisles were full of standers. We were standing, too--and we got there almost an hour early. My sweetie found us a corner right by the pillar next to the wooden barriers around the center reserved section. Wow. Just wow.
And yesterday there was another 5:30 PM rainstorm.
Last night, as we were settling down for the night, watching TV in the dark and dozing off, we heard a horrifically loud crash. Some fellow driving on the ring road had hit the retaining wall in his brand new white Land Rover "SUV" type car. He hit it hard; a 10 foot block of cement in the wall was knocked completely out and another one under or next to it also. (It looked like nobody was hurt.) So we stood there in the twilight of 10:30 or so PM, sipping the last of the wine and watching the traffic unfold.  The oolice made it there in about 15 minutes or so, before which everyone had had to negotiate a half blocked two lane busy road on a curve by themselves. "Everyone" included about 5 city buses.When the police car came, there were two men in it. One got out and began recording details. The other one got into his Dayglo yellow vest and started directing traffic. A couple of times he would stop the cars coming one way to let the other ones through, and the car he stopped would decide to go anyway. He went over to them and told them, with pointing, to get back up there. One of these idiots argued with him, and we saw him write down their plate number. I wonder what the fine is for "interfering with an officer directing traffic?"
I promise that when we get home and I can upload pictures from the chips, we will put pictures up. But right now, it is beyond my abilities to figure out!
We may go to Fisterra (Finisterre) tomorrow, on the bus(?) so we can enjoy it when we arrive there. I´m not sure when I´ll be able to post again.