Thursday, September 15, 2011


AND THERE IT WAS -- the cathedral - the end of our journey!!! there were demonstrators in tents in the main plaza -- young protestors from all over - some from Madrid. A young man explained that they were demonstrating to have the government work properly.

We found our hotel -- classy with free internet and our window looks out at the catherdral. We hung out our laundry -- still wet - and went back to the cathedral. It isn't very big but it is very gothic - very ornate and full of gold. We climbed behind the alter to put our arms around the St. James statue - (Karen cried) - then went down to the crypt where his bones (purportedly) lie. We looked at the column where the hands of thousands and thousands of pilgrims have worn down the marble - they are trying to stop people from touching - there is a barricade - but many pilgrims climb around to touch - We will go to mass tomorrow at noon. We had chicken, fries -- of course.

Tuesday, May 31 - slept in - how nice! Jim got us a hotel in Madrid - near the airport. Had breakfast - then went to the cathedral and walked around. Then back for mass - seats were fille3d by 11:30 Am - but we had been there early. Right before noon, a nun with a beautiful voice came out and taught us the song responses in Latin - of course, Karen cried.
The mass was in Spanish - but was powerful. Too bad they did not use the Botafumeiro, the huge smoke belching thumble - maybe the pilgrims did not smell too bad. Throughout the mass, pilgrims ascended the ladder - went behind the alter - embraced the saint. We saw Yolanda and her boyfriend at the mass.

We had lunch at a little cafe -the proprieter gave us free treats of food - mussels in spicy sauce and soup with tripe with garbanzo beans - very tasty.

We walked to the train station - got train tickets for Madrid - then walked to a park - high up - above the city - where we could look down on the view of the cathedral. WE DID IT!!!

We went to a museum - saw photos of people who completed the pilgrimage. Saw boots left by pilgrims -- what a day!

In Madrid, we saw all kinds of stuff -- walked all over, saw a McDonalds, saw the Prado, had ice cream - and got the airplane home!!!

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