On the day before Easter Sunday, the plan had been to drive west to Salamanca, Spain but the rain there was terrible too. Instead we changed plans and headed north from Porto into Santiago de Compostela the capitol city of Galicia in Spain.
Santiago is best known for the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral and is the final stop on the The Way of St. James, a well-known pilgrimage. Although the pilgrimage dates back to the 9th century, it gained in popularity for tourists in 2010 on the heels of the Martin Sheen movie “The Way”.
The Cathedral is MASSIVE.
Preparations were being made for the Easter service the following day. Therefore we got to see Botafumeiro, the world’s largest incense thurible, which is only brought out for religious holidays. It supposedly reaches swinging speeds of 50 mph.
After the cathedral visit, we took a little walk through the old quarter and enjoyed a light snack. It was fun to chat with the many people who had just finished their trek.
Most of the “pilgrims” I spoke with had made the walk for personal growth or as an interesting travel opportunity rather than religious purposes. Regardless though, it was very inspiring to watch them all arrive into the cathedral’s plaza – young, old, walking, biking.
Although the clouds were ominous at times, we got through the day without a downpour of rain, our first in over a week. At dusk we headed back to Porto, and I added St. James’ Way to my bucket list.