Today, at approximately 11:30am, I reached Santiago and stood in front of the Cathedral.
It was quite crowded on the road; everyone near the end of their journey. Some had walked from St. Jean (or further!) and some had started 100 kms away in Sarria. Some were practically running. Others were visibly limping. Some walked with dogged determination. Some walked slowly, as if they didn’t want it to end.
As I came around the corner towards the front of the Cathedral, I saw a woman in tears and stumbling, as she walked with her husbands arm around her. Every emotion seemed to be expressed.
There was a Pilgrim’s Mass at noon. I went and sat on the steps in the back; every seat was taken. The cathedral is beautiful (I’ve got a full tour booked tomorrow and will post more pictures.)
I was starving, so got a plate of paella and a beer. Then I went to the Pilgrim’s Office to get my certificate. It’s all in Latin. They look closely over your stamps, especially the last ones, to be sure you’ve walked at least 100 kilometers! By my best reckoning, I walked about 350.
Then, after a few wrong turns, I found my albergue. It’s called “Seminario Menor” and is in this very cool old Monastery. It’s also up on a hill. But I have a little private room (that likely used to be some monk’s cell.). Plain, but comfortable.
My heart is full. I expect I’ll be turning over my thoughts for some time. And writing some of them here! But for now, I’m feeling very grateful and very blessed.