stories about Christ and his apostles. It also included a vision of hell to remind those same folks what awaited them if they did not follow the teachings of the Bible and Mother Church. When we were in Santiago before, we had seen the elaborate and supposedly oldest hotel in continuous operation in Europe which was built to accommodate Queen Isabela and King Ferdinand and their court when they visited Santiago. This time we went inside this beautiful building. Spread before us was a lunch to remember. We were also treated to musical entertainment and excellent foods. What a fabulous place to spend the night—but alas, we were taken back to our ship before nightfall. This now 5* hotel now called Hostal de los reyes catolicos was built in 1486. The building is large and parts of it have served different functions over the years since it was no longer visited by Ferdinand and Isabela: hospital, hostel for pilgrims, administrative center for the government, and now a Parador for attracting visitors and tourists to spend an elegant and comfortable night where those famous royals often slept. There are many other sites to visit in this most beautiful and historic city including other churches, the various plazas, the converted monastery where we stayed during our first visit. Hearing the Spanish “bagpipe” players is also a treat not to be missed. Probably the most exhilarating part of any visit to this city is sitting quietly in the Plaza de Obredores (worker’s square) to watch the pilgrims coming in from the many different walking routes: The French Way, the English Way, The Portuguese Way, The Maritime Way and others—all converging on this holy place –The Cathedral of St. James the Apostle. You see every kind of behavior from spiritual ecstacy, humble gratitude for completing the long walk, joy in being there, exhaustion, blistered feet causing facial grimaces, exultation of the physical triumph, serenity, laughter, even weeping.
For more photos of this portion of the trip see Kay’s Flickr Santiago Album
For photos taken of the video in the Cathedral museum of The Portal Gloria
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