Sail the Iberian Peninsula - 2019

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

Our 2 nd visit to this storied religious “mecca” in Spain. Three years ago we reached the city after the 180 mile walk of the French Way Camino. That visit was characterized by fatigue, exhilaration, and wonder at having completed our “Camino.” The Cathedral is of course the goal for the many pilgrims from around the world who may come for spiritual reasons, personal challenges, curiosity, historical interests and many more motives, perhaps as many as there are individuals who choose to walk “The Way.” We enjoyed the marvelous “pilgrim mass” with the incredible “botofumeiro” ceremony. Mostly, we were proud we had survived the long walk and achieved the “Compostela”—the certificate given to pilgrims who complete the required 80 miles or more.

On this much less strenuous visit, we arrived by van and we were deposited in the main square in front of the magnificent cathedral. There was no effort required on our part this time, but no “Compostela” to be awarded either. However, there were prizes to be enjoyed. The cathedral had been cleaned since our last visit and it was dazzling in the sunlight. We had not realized how much the building was in need of cleaning when we were there before. Now the city is readying for an anticipated visit from Pope Francis in 2021. Sadly, pilgrims in the next few years will not

witness the “swinging censor ceremony” nor have their mass said in the cathedral which is now being renovated and restored inside to accompany its now shining façade.

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