Rest Day 1, Santiago de Compostella

What a wonderful feeling it was to wake up this morning and know that we do not have to put on our boots or backpacks today!  As Dan would say, “Our dogs are barking!!!” and a day of rest and soft shoes is certainly in order!

Dan and I were still up pretty early… With breakfast around 8-8:30, we began our morning tour of the old city… One walk around the Cathedral with a view finally of the West ( and main) entrance gave us a feel for the enormity of the church.

Unfortunately, with the restoration work being carried out, you don’t get the same sense of wonder…

We then walked around to the south entrance and went inside as I heard some organ music… They were just finishing the 9 am mass, and the Botofumerio had been lit.  Even though we saw the last swing, it was an impressive site… And interestingly, not many were at mass to see this.  Our plans were to go to the pilgrim mass at noon today, where they would read out the countries from which the arriving pilgrims had come.  But for me, first it was a quick trip to the hairdressers for some repair action after almost 6 weeks on the trail!

Lisa, Alan, Kim, Dan and I planned to meet at the cathedral entrance at 11 for the noonday mass… We managed to sit in the second row on the south transept…. When to our surprise, Judith appeared and joined us!  How wonderful it was to be reunited with her once again!!!

The crowd was amazing for this service with standing room only, there was well over 1,000 for this mass!  Imagine, this pilgrim mass is held daily for new pilgrims entering Santiago!

We all got  a bit excited when we saw a group of 10 or so people being led in to sit in the very front at around 11:50…. Could this mean that a donation had been made to light the great incense burner???
Indeed it was!     

I have a video of this 80 kg thing going over our heads!!! Apparently it’s fallen 3 times, but no worries, no one was killed!!

After the mass we went for a lovely lunch,

 and then girls and boys split up to do shopping and isotonic drinks ( I’ll let you figure out who did what!). While Lisa and I were stepping into a shop, who should walk by but Francesco… My look alike son!!!  He made it, and we are so proud!!!

Now,  it’s siesta time, then meet with the crazy crowd for tapas tonight!!! Oh what a night it was!  We started at actions bar, and thought we might go to several, but with an awesome waitress, and incredible food we were happy to stay put!

 There was lots more food, but the photographer has to eat doesn’t she??? After tapas it was on to gelato, and who should we bump into, but Ryan  from Montreal!  Another Camino soul woven into our extended family! Congrats on your accomplishment!

 and then to the square south of the cathedral where they were having a band play earlier…unfortunately the band had packed it in for the night, and with it gonging 10, we decided to as well.

 Alan and Lisa headed off in there direction and Kim, Dan and I headed in ours… All of a sudden we heard bagpipes… It was a Galician band having a great time outside a bar… Definitely time to stop for a beer and get into some local celebratory music… At 10:30 there was this cute set of twins absolutely absorbed in the music… It was magical, and like the day an atmosphere of celebration continued into the evening and beyond!


Tomorrow morning is an early meeting with the gang at the cathedral… We will try finding the Pilgrims hymn there as well as visit St James… Lots of touring to do… Dan and I have decided to stay in town rather than head out to Finessterre  by bus… More important to spend whatblittlevtime we have with those new souls we’ve grown to love… And besides… Sandra should be arriving!!! Until tomorrow, I bid you all a good night!

By the way, the blog that was started to keep my kids updated has grown to a readership of 600 in 12 countries with over 6000 hits!!! Thanks to all the friends of my kids who have supported us!!!! Love to all!!!

Categories: Camino De Santiago


  1. I checked earlier for todays entry but should have known that it would come a little later; great that you have had a chance to enjoy Santiago, get some much needed rest and get caught up with so many you met along the way. Till the next entry, pleasant dreams! G&G


  2. The size of the cathedral is something to behold. How wonderful to see so many of the people in your journey together. It is good to know they succeeded in their pilgrimages. Glad to see you enjoying the camaraderie. Enjoy your rest! Karen


  3. We are all so proud of both of you!!! On behalf of ONE of the 12 countries following you – CONGRATULATIONS! Now…go get a comfortable pair of New Balance shoes and come home already!

    Ps – Mom, your hair looks fantastic.


  4. Glad you can rest now, and have more time to see the sights. Also, I like your haircut. 🙂


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