Thank goodness Day 9 is 'done'.
Yesterday was such an amazing and emotional day on so many levels and for so many reasons. I think I could have written a chapter just on arriving into Santiago all on its own. Maybe another time.
Today we slept in - well sort of. We got up at 9:00 so we could eat and get to the Cathedral early so we would have a seat during the Pilgrim's Mass. We wanted to hear "Canada 2" being read off.
We ate and headed up to the church. Some how I lost sight of Elena, but there was a line forming to the doors of the church and I wanted to be sure I got in as "Santiago" is the experience I wanted to have in Spain. It was my only reason for coming here! (As well as Fisterra.)
I didn't particularly care about being in Santiago for the festival, especially because there was an extra charge but it worked out for the best on many levels. Last night there was the amazing fire works and then today there was the special mass. (note to self - ask own questions).
Remember I told you about the pilgrims that washed in Lavacolla and so to hide their sink the church used incense in that big holder during the services? Well apparently they no longer use it for every mass only on "special" occasions. And because of the feast of St James the Pilgrim's Mass was going to be later, not it's apparently usual time of noon.
Anyway, I went up to the police officer who was manning the door and in my fluent garble asked about the line. He explained pretty much what I've told you and I got in line. Finally Elena joined me. Two hours later... We didn't make the cut to get in BUT we were close enough to see and hear the Feast of St James Celebration Mass. The added bonus, we were in the shade and had a nice breeze. I was so excited when I realized they would be using the incense burner.
With the fragrance of frankincense billowing out of the burner it was swinging back and forth across the front of the church so high I thought it would bounce off the ceiling. I took a few photos then changed to video. It didn't turn out as great as I'd have liked but...at least you'll get the idea.
Once that service was over, the Pilgrim's mass began. We were allowed in as others left and sat about three rows back but to right of the front alter. The only thing I understood was "Canada" during the entire service. I was incredibly hot, so during the Eucharist Elena and I left our seats and walked around the church.
I took some amazing photos inside and look forward to sharing these with you too. By the time we left the church it was almost 2:30.
Hungry hot, tired and with limited stores open, we headed back to the hotel. First we stopped at our pizza place for pasta - another nice meal.
When inside the hotel, I asked the receptionist of they could call and book our bus ticket to Fisterre for tomorrow and our train ticket to Madrid on the 28. She couldn't do that but she said we could walk to the train station (2 blocks to the right and a cross the street) to book our train ticket. To get our bus tickets we'd have to take a taxi.
So...off we go. $143.00e for two one way first class tickets from Santiago to Madrid. Apparently this ticket, for a six hour ride, doesn't include any beverages or food....but there is a dining car where we can buy stuff. As of 9am on July 28, we'll be on our way to Madrid via the train. :)
The bus was another story. So after an almost 8e taxi ride to the bus station...we learn you can't book your bus ticket in advance. I'm so trying to remain soulful but I couldn't help think....really ~ not one person we talked to didn't know you couldn't by a bus ticket in advance. Not our trip planner or any of the four people we talked to at either of the two tourist information offices or any of the front desk help at the hotel. The taxi ride back was almost 7e so we paid 15e to find out we had to come back tomorrow. I was not impressed!
However, it doesn't matter. Tomorrow morning we will be up at 7 to have breakfast, take our bags to the lobby (they are letting us leave them for the night as we're back here the following night) then grab a taxi to the bus station with the hopes we can get on the 9am bus. The ride is 3hrs each way but very scenic.
Fisterre was the pegan's pilgrimage to the "end of the world". It is also the place many pilgrims continue on to for a "cleansing" celebration. Often here is where they'll burn the clothes or other items they brought in order to release and move on.
I had some court documents I thought about bringing but I decided on a different celebration for those. My sneakers (the ones I paid $160+ for that were suppose to be great walking shoes) I have decided to rid myself of those puppies.
I could of cried for days with the pain they caused me. The one blister, had me really nervous as it was angry red and looked horribly infected under the skin. That is when I bought my "ugly" (Jesus) sandals. They saved my feet during the day while I nursed them with arnica cream and peppermint oil at night. The blister band aids were horrible and seemed to make them worse too. I glad to say my 8 (in total) blisters are almost 100% healed!
Since coming back to our room today, Elena and I have spent the day catching up on our journals, blogs, packing up for our side trip and resting
The hotel we're staying at tomorrow looks like its in a light house. It does say its built in the "Cap of Fisterre". Hopefully we don't fall into the ocean!? There doesn't appear to be much around the area but hopefully there is wifi.
Journey well...blessing and goodnight ~Carleana