One of the traditions is to go behind the altar in the cathedral and give Saint James an embrace. It was a special Camino moment for me, to finally greet the Saint that I had walked so far for.
I made sure I was early to attend the Pilgrims Mass, so that I could get a good seat in the cathedral.
The Pilgrim's Mass is overflowing each day with 800 to 1,000 including Pilgrims, other worshipers and tourists.
It was quite a thrill to see that even during the Mass the tradition of hugging Saint James continued and every now and them my attention was drawn to the rear of the huge gold and silver altar to see Pilgrims giving Saint James an embrace.
Another tradition is to walk or take a bus to Finesterre, which was believed to be the end of the world during medieval times. My journey was complete when I reached Saint James, so I had no desire to go any further. I did hear from fellow Pilgrims who made the journey that it did not have the same feeling as being on the Camino; that it was not a the pilgrimage, but just a beautiful walk to the ocean.
I think that leaving Santiago de Compostela was more emotional than arriving, if that's possible. I felt like I needed more time to absorb and reflect on my experience before returning home. But when it came time, I was happy to return home to my family. I will have plenty of time to sit and contemplate the messages and lessons I received from the Camino.
I wish you peace, love, and laughter