Thursday, May 2, 2024

Camino Primitivo Day 16: Ending in Santiago de Compostella

 April 4th was the final, short day into Santiago de Compostella.  Because we stayed so close to town, we were able to take our time heading into town.  We also obtained our certificates, and were about the 60th people of nearly 1,000 that day to obtain them.

We stopped a couple of times for caffeine along the way, first at a restaurant attached to a campground for pilgrims that was devoid of tents.

And later at a small cafe on the outskirts of Santiago.  We also passed a large public albergue exclusively for pilgrims that has a capacity of 400.  It looked like an army barracks!  

We stopped at the Monte de Gozo, where pilgrims catch their first glimpse of the cathedral (seen on the right side of the photo).

And we followed other pilgrims through the increasingly congested streets of Santiago, getting ever closer to the cathedral.

As we approached the cathedral, we witnessed the sounds of church bells and then bagpipes.

There is always a crowd in the square in front of the cathedral, so we waited to get the requisite completion photograph before heading to the pilgrim office to claim our compostella certificate signifying our camino completion.

Day 15 Camino stats: 
Date: Thursday, April 4, 2024
Distance: 6.9 miles 
Time: 2 hours, 43 minutes
Start time: 8:06 AM
End time: 10:48 AM
Total daily steps: 33,307 steps 

The clouds burned off and we had lunch nearby at an outdoor restaurant, where we were treated to some kind of political protest march.

Later in the day we toured the cathedral (Again - no photos!  But...) After, we met up with Elizabetta for dinner - we had not seen her since Lugo - and later also with Imogen and Ande, who hiked with Elizabetta from Lugo.  Imogen is from England and Andie is from the Philippines, and both teach English in Spain.

We loved exploring Santiago, and our hotel was very close to the Cathedral.  There were always people on the streets outside our hotel!

I did not anticipate that Santiago would be such an enjoyable city to be a tourist.  But we spent a couple of days here and I enjoyed it immensely!  After that, we flew to Barcelona and then returned to Madrid via a high speed train.  Larry flew out on Monday morning, and I flew out Monday night after logging 17 miles around Madrid without any kind of gameplan.  My layover was an overnight in Zurich, where I added another 10 miles - I really loved exploring Zurich!  Then I flew back to Dulles, helped my son move from DC to Northern Virginia, and took a slow Amtrak train back home.  

Total Camino Data: 212 miles walked, 32,000+ feet elevation gained, and 585,000+ steps.
Total Trip Data: 327 miles walked, 821,719 steps.

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