Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 7 in Spain

Tuesday 5-21

We had decided to drive to Santiago De Compostela today (for information click here). Weatherwise it seems to be o.k. but nothing like yesterday. The mapquest from home had said 1 hour and 29 minutes and GPS agreed. It was a nice and easy drive except when it took us through Carballo which was tedious to drive. Some roads are rather narrow and lots and lots of roundabouts. But finally we arrived in Santiago which brought the next question: where to park? The trouble with driving is that you have to make decisions quickly … you blink and you missed it. Oh well, we were in the center and I decided to drive into the Parking which seemed to belong to the Hotel Araguaney but also said 'publico'. Sometimes you just have to pay!

The parking was an adventure by itself. Three stories down and more pillars then you can imagine and very VERY close together. I am relived when I am finally in a place without a scratch on the car.

When we emerged from three stories below the city the first thing I asked somebody to mark on my map where we were. I really wanted to find the car again, ha-ha. And then we headed towards the Cathedral (for information click here).

It wasn't far. Here we are already in the large plaza in front of it.

Here are the famous steps.
The front double doors were closed and we had to go in on the side of that. We couldn't really see it. Inside the famous Portico de la Gloria was under renovation. What a petty. But here is St. James greeting the pilgrims.

The inside of the cathedral is overwhelming and no photo of mine can do it justice. To be franc, I gave up after a while. The next service (the one especially for the pilgrims) was at noon. We were there about 30 minutes early. We sat for a little while. But gave up our seats. Pilgrims arrived. Backpacks everywhere.

Here the contraption to hold the famous 'world's biggest cencer'.

It wasn't as big as I expected. It looked bigger in the movie “The Way”.

There are many side chapels. And, of course, some with bobbinlace. This one must have had a millions what lacemakers call 'leaves' in the pattern. Really nice but I couldn't get close enough.

And in this side altar a statue of St Martin (at least I think it is). The beggar was behind flowers not easy to see.

*** (see note on bottom of blog)

Of course I had to take a picture since I am now a member of St Martin's in Richmond, VA.

We had lost track of the time and it was noon. We wanted to leave but the door we had come in was shut and guarded. We made our way to another door to exit but I regretted that we had given up our seats. A nun had started singing and it was out of this world good. May be I can come back.

Outside lots of people. You hear all sorts of language spoken. There also was a busload of ladies in purple with red hats. I think they spoke french.

Trying to take a picture of the outside of the cathedral.

Then we found a cafe with (first question) WiFi and bocadillos (second question). We were lucky with the third try. The sandwiches were very nice too with Serrano ham (Ute says it is very special).

Then we part. Ute goes back to the little park close to the Parking garage. I want to find the lace shop. I do find it but it is about the close. Its 2 pm. All shops are closing. Even in a tourist town? I have just enough time to ask about Hinejosa lace and find out that Marina Regueiro has written a book about it in 4 languages. But I do not have time to look at it and make a decision to buy it (Marina is the laceteacher I rented the apartment from).

I love wondering through the streets. We heard backpipe music earlier. Now I have also heard a harp and later a violin. A town with character, no question about it.

I find Ute in the park and we had back to the car. We find it without problem but we can't find where to pay. Something at the entrance looked like a ticket  machine but it was for buying milk (?) I finally have to park the car again near the exit boom and ask a couple of people. Ah, just another adventure.

We find out of town with no problem but decided it would be nicer to go another way. We just love the landscape. The roads are winding and go up and down and lots of interesting things to see. Suddenly I 'have to have' a coffee con leche. It is very nice.

We decide to stop in Ponteceso again before turning left towards Corme to buy some groceries but of course the shop is closed. It is after 2 and before 5. We can't get used to it.

I prepared todays photos and text and in a little while I will go down the hill to find a WiFi place.

Another wonderful day! 

*** Not the statue of St Martin. It's Santiago Matamoros (click here)

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If you want to go to "Day 8" click here.

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