It always rains in Santiago de Compostela so the buildings and cobblestones are covered in moss. The town glows and the twisting arcaded streets are magically inviting.
What do you mean we don’t have to go West anymore?
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is confusing–sprawling with multiple entrances, partly covered with scaffolding. The famous Portico of Glory was closed for restoration.
At this point in the trip I look like a Raggedy Ann doll–my clothes are full of holes, stained with olive oil and sprinkled with bread crumbs. My pants are hanging down, muddy cuffs dragging the ground because of the weight I’ve lost from all the walking in the cold without picnic opportunities. The soles of my shoes are peeling off. Parents of Northern Spain: lock up your sons.
It’s a joy to hang out in the square in front of the cathedral watching the ecstatic pilgrims arrive. We met a woman from Italy who had just hiked for 30 days through snow covered mountains. We attended the special daily Pilgrims Mass at the cathedral. During the service they read out the names of all the pilgrims (and the departure point of their journey) who register at the pilgrim’s office that day.
Our pension was freezing cold and we were given two twin beds. After an unsuccessful attempt at separate, shivering sleep, we climbed into a single twin bed together—ah, body heat! We slept well after that, even without enough space to tuck in all our appendages.
How we got to Santiago de Compostela: train from León.
Where we slept: Pensión Acibeche. Price: €49 for a double. Recommended: yes, if you have a warm body to snuggle in your twin bed,