After a sleep in at the Parador, we met up with Brian Fitzearl from Scotland. Brian finished last night and got his certificate this morning.
After Coffee with Brian we went into the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. The cathedral has historically been a place of pilgrimage on the Way of St. James since the Early Middle Ages and marks the traditional end of the pilgrimage route. The building is a Romanesque structure, with later Gothic and Baroque additions. Although under renovation we could still get inside to complete the traditional rituals which complete the pilgrimage, as follows:
First we visited the crypt, below the main altar, this is the final destination of the pilgrims. The crypt houses the relics of Saint James. Saint James was an apostle of Jesus Christ. It is also one of the only three known churches in the world built over the tomb of an apostle of Jesus, the other two being St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica, Chennai in India.
Also following tradition, we queued to go up a staircase behind the high altar to hug the statue of Saint James which looks over the alter and church.
After that we got a taxi to Casa Grande do Bachao (http://bachao.es/ ) in Vachao, Spain, which is about 30 minutes north of Santiago de Compostela in the countryside. It is a great hotel based on an ancient stone farm home, with great views over the Tambre River. We booked two nights here with the intention to rest and relax as well as wash cloths and plan our remaining days in Spain and Portugal.