No Lat / Long as inland Friday, 24th July
Santiago de Compostela.
Yesterday took the bus to Santiago de Compostela. The Spanish transport system is superb and very reasonable. Santiago (or St. James) is the key place of pilgrimage probably second only (or maybe third) to Rome. The place is amazing, almost overwhelming.
There are apparently about 5 pilgim routes to Santiago, the French route, the English, the Jacobean, the Northern Asturian, etc. Most go inland. Wendy's uncle Hugh and Lily did one of the routes on foot a couple of years ago, backpacking in true style, as the proper pilgrimage - not sure which route. We have done a lot of the coastal route by boat, the early bit in 2006, but the route then goes inland from I think Cudillero. So we don't qualify as doing the real thing. But thousands do and as we arrived the town was bursting as people from all over the world were congregating for this weekend. It is the Compostela festival celebrating St. James's day. There were towers erecting lights and fireworks, concert stands and special services planned with outdoor seating to cope with overspill.
The cathedral itself is huge and very ornate, the original parts dating from 1075, and many parts remaining from the 11th and 12th centuries. The clock tower and the Acibecheria Facade were added in the 17th C and the insides have detail ranging from all centuries since the 11th. The town contains a staggering 40 churches, many of them dating from similar times, and an old university with equally ornate college buildings. There are convents, merchants houses and arched arcades throughout, the little shops selling a mixture of typical touristy bits as well as local Galician produce. There is a huge market, the Mercado de Abastos, which contains 8 stone arched alleys, 2 for meats, 3 for pesce & marisco, 3 for fruit and veg. We arrived just as it was finishing for the day - typical! I would have loved to have seen it all in action.
We would have liked to have stayed longer, but the place was full, and we had a boat to get back to in Coruna. But I think we are also unfit, we had walked all day, W with heavy(ish) rucksack, so were glad to catch the bus back that night - tired! A fabulous place and very special.
Friday - 24th July.
We had a mishap with glass slipping from our front windscreen. Torrential rain this morning, so we have the cockpit cover on, R got the mini-workmate out, and is dismantling it and cleaning out the old gunge. Has just gone off in search of Sikaflex to re-bed it in. I would be interested to see how he gets on - normally leaves all the foreign language stuff to me.
The rain has now cleared (lunchtime), the sun is out and looking at the forecasts, we are hoping to head off tomorrow. If sea state is kind, we would like to stop off at the Islas Sisargas en route. Tiny little jewels off the coast about 20 miles from here! Until next time.