Friday, October 9, 2009
Santiago de Compostela
6 hours 30 minutes-21.2 km
We were all up at 5AM. I think the excitement of reaching Santiago today was somewhat like a child that can't sleep on Christmas morning.
We were walking by 6AM. It was still dark when we reached the Santiago airport.
We climbed our last hill Monte Gozo (Mount Joy), so named because atop the hill the Pilgrim gets the first joyful glimpse at the spires of the cathedral of the Saint they have walked so far to see.
Unfortunately for us the day was rainy and overcast so we couldn't see much through the fog and mist.
When we got to the outskirts of Santiago, the walk seemed interminable. Then about 5 km before arrival Heidi started getting severe hip and leg problems. I gave here my trekking poles to help and she hobbled slowly and painfully into the city and on to the cathedral.
I wept tears of joy when I came around the corner and there was the grand cathedral looming in front of me. I walked up the stairs weeping, and entered, but the Mass had already started and Heidi needed to get to our lodgings.
Once the girls got settled in, I went back to Praza do Obradoiro, the "golden square" in front of the cathedral where throngs of Pilgrims gather. The square was filled with excitement.
I saw many Pilgrim friends. We embraced and took many photos and even shed a few tears with some that had been with us from the beginning.
It has been a very exciting and emotional day.
My head is still spinning.
Blessings to all
(The photo only shows a portion of the magnificent cathedral.)
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