Saturday, June 7, 2008

we finally arrived

hello everyone,

yesterday we finished hiking! no more walking for us except around the city. We stayed in a house in Santa Irene two nights ago, and we enjoyed some downtime to rest our feet for the final day. yesterday we left at 730 to finish the 24 km that we lacked on the pilgrimage. we got to stop at the historic spot where pilgrims would race to the top of a hill in order to be the first to see the spires of the cathedral in Santiago. we passed a monument to the former Pope JP2- who did the pilgrimage twice in his life, and we finally crossetd the tracks into the city. it was definitely the most anticipated arrival in any city that I have ever experienced (it was a total of 2 miles getting into the historical district). We finally made it to the cathedral where we took a lot of pictues (sadly those will have to wait again), and we made our way around to the the cathedral to the oficina del peregrino where we received our final credentials for completing the pilgrimage. It was oddly quick, but we made our way to lunch and relaxed the rest of the day shopping around the city. We can finally buy souvenirs without worying about carrying them across Spain with us. Last night we got the rare treat of watching them swing the botofumeiro (giant incense burner made of solid silver that they only swing- giant pendulum effect- for special days or for people who give a lot of money to the church´s maintenance fund. It was pretty slick. After this we went back to the hotel for dinner where we had trout and vegetable lasagna. later we returned to the main plaza where we listened to the tunas perform. what a night! anyway we´ll be here one more day bfore I head back , and then I´ll be sure to add pictures that I haven´t been able to at this point. I´ll see yall soon!

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