Well after fretting that I had a 6 hour bus trip ahead of me I found out that it departed an hour later than I thought and since I was going into Spain there was an hour's difference so it actually turned out to be a fairly quick 4 our trip. I arrived in Santiago and it was raining, actually raining, I hadn't seen this wet stuff in such a long time it was a shock!
I grabbed a map at the bus station and set off to find the hostel, however I couldn't tell which road I was on, ie what side of the station, as Santiago seems like it is above street signs, I guess the council like people just figure all the pilgrims coming into the city know just where to go and street signs are for losers! So I asked a couple of Spanish chaps and they pointed me in the 'right' direction and off I went. However after a bit I realised it was not the 'right' direction and I had to go in a big loop and arrived where I started and set off in the other direction and my hostel was then just about 5 mins from there, had I gone the right way first time round!
The next day I had a leisurely morning and had a very interesting chat to a German guy over breakfast about the camino, he had just walked from France and it had taken him just over 30 days! Then we got onto religion (yes I know a bit heavy for the morning) He was religious but not excessively so, so it was interesting to hear each others views, and what the camino meant for him.
After brekkie I set out with another girl and wandered the streets and they were crawling with pilgrims that had just finished the camino, they flood into the city every day. We went to see the cathedral where all the pilgrims go as their final destination, and I have to say from the outside it was really one of the most huge and beautiful cathedrals I have seen to date. The whole place is not cleaned so religiously as other cathedrals and churches and all the ledges are covered with lichen and pretty purple flowers, it really is so beautiful. When we went inside they were having a service so that was interesting, but I obviously had no idea what they were saying (probably a good thing with my aversion of excessive godliness) and all the way around the outside there were little confession booths. Now I don't want to offend anyone who is religious but I have to say they did look funny, lots of little booths, probably close to 20 and about 12 or so open, with signs up with what languages they spoke, and it really just looked like a tourist centre with men in cages too small for them. Most of them had their front shutters open and you could just see them sitting there looking out, I felt like going to have a light hearted chat with some that looked lonely, but then they would probably go and ask me about my 'sins' then that would open a whole new can of worms!
The rest of the day was spent wandering the old area of the city seeing a heap of other churches and found some interesting places like a amazing chocolate shop and a lolly shop within 10m of each other. I resisted the chokkie as it was like 40Euro per kg or more, but the sweet shop was cheap as chips so I indulged in some! Mmmm so good.
Then it was back to the hostel to do some planning, as I still hadn't figured out where my next stop was going to be, how I was getting there and where I was staying! So after a lonnnnng while and a lot of internet searching I decided on Leon and the train the next morning. I was up early and set off for the train station which I thought would take me about 20mis and 45 later with my back and shoulders about to drop off I got there. I went to get my ticket and was told there was only first class left! Argh crap, I handed the credit card over, no other choice really as there is only one train each day! So jumped on and set off for my 6 hour (it actually was this time) trip.... whizzzz