I don't know why but it had taken me a long time to get to sleep. May be even 2 hours. Then I slept ok but it was still early when I woke up. And you could hear the rain. It might have been 7 when James gave the sign to get ready.
Not to disturb the others we put on the backpacks and ponchos downstairs. Out of this door 7:50 am.
We stopped at the first cafè we saw so that James could get something into his stomach before the med. We met some peregrinos there which we had met before. They had stayed in the hotel across the street and this was their included breakfast. No tostadas. They only offered cake. James wasn't so sure about it but I told him he had to do it for the med. and then he found it wasn't so bad.
Today's walk included everything again: villages, forest, between fields, along major roads. It's strange to think this is our last day of the camino. Today we will arrive.
Had to take this picture: Lea than 10 km to go!
Only short after 10 am and the first view of Santiago ... but we are not there yet!
Our last sello (stamp in the peregrino passport).
The rain during the night and showers today had left their sign. You had to watch where you stepped.
Arriving in Santiago was actually a shock. I had not expected to have to walk for such a long time through modern streets and construction. Not inspiring at all. Also the Camino signage was not very good here.
This is more like it!
Standing in line at the Pilgrim Office to get our compostela. 12:17 pm
Yes, Christa, wave it! (rolled up in a "tuba" so it survives the trip home)
I can't believe it. I walked more then 120 km and loved it. Thank you to my dear husband for so encouraging me and having so much patience. This was an amazing experience in our 40th year! Well, yes, 40 years of supporting each other. (And he keeps telling me how proud he is of me. Feeling good!)
Next thing: stopping at the tourist office to get a map and then going to the hotel. You can't take backpacks into the cathedral and we are way too late for the noon mass anyway.
James had reserved the same hotel via Internet as we stayed before and they brought up our suitcase which we had left here. Yeah, fresh clothes ... after a hot bath! It's not only rainy, it's also autumnly cool.
Then we venture out again. James didn't care too much about the tortilla (which came with the drinks) but I did. Then we ordered two different ensaladas. Ah, they were good.
Then we walked back to the Cathedral. And there we saw a couple we had already met several times here and there. I asked what they were doing. I had seen people lay in the middle in front of the cathedral before and thought may be there is some significance to it, but they said "resting".
Later we saw them again and I showed them the picture which they liked and asked for me to email. Buen camino, Ramon and Elena (from Seville, I think).
It is very difficult to take a picture because this plaza is so big. So I took a VIDEO.
Behind the altar on one side is "entrada" and you go steps down to see the sarcophagus of James the Apostel.
You can kneel and pray ...
... and light a candle (which we did ... several ...).
And then up and out.
There is another passage like that behind the altar but this up to the back of the statue of Saint James. No photo taking allowed.
Traditionally you hug Saint James from behind. I didn't do that. I hugged my James when we came out of that passage.
I know I have taken random pictures but there is really no way I can give you a good impression of this all.
Here is a link to Wikipedia
From there I copied this: Construction of the present cathedral began in 1075 under the reign of Alfonso VI of Castile (1040–1109) and the patronage of bishop Diego Peláez. It was built according to the same plan as the monastic brick church of Saint Sernin in Toulouse, probably the greatest Romanesque edifice in France. It was built mostly in granite. Construction was halted several times and, according to the Liber Sancti Iacobi, the last stone was laid in 1122. But by then, the construction of the cathedral was certainly not finished. The cathedral was consecrated in 1211 in the presence of king Alfonso IX of Leon.