We caught a bus to Braga in the downtown square of Barcelos before the breakfast places in that city were even open. (It happens a lot on the Camino, that the pilgrim is ready to roll out and there is no coffee or other morning stuff available. We just rolled out anyway and had something when we found a place open. This day, we found breakfast in downtown Braga.)
When we got off the bus and started walking toward the tall buildings from the station, we heard drums and noticed that the streets were full of people in groups. About when we got to a coffee shop to eat, we discovered that the city's Marchas de Sao Joao was stepping off (9 am) and so we snapped a couple of pictures of the parade.
These were just two of the many marching units--two bands, of course, because bands are cool. There were also folk-costumed marchers and giant paper-mache puppets. The whole parade took about forty minutes or so to walk past the coffee shop.
One of the many magnificently-carved churches in the old city area.
|Wall of relics at the Bom Jesu shrine at the outer edge of Braga. This was in a different room than the giant, elaborate crucifux that is famous--both are in the Crucifixion shrine at the top of the very long staircase.|
|A segment of the long staircase of the Way of the Cross, showing the stone mosaic designs in the pavement.|
|View of the upper, allegorical staircase with its statues of prophets, kings, and virtues. The chapel of the shrine is at the top. This is a very "aerobic" sight to see!|
|Statue ready for procession in one of the churches in downtown Braga. They were doing up the flowers for the statues while we were there.|