Monday, June 30, 2014

Back to Santiago

Well, I headed back to Santiago today. I will be there for the next several days. I am hoping to make it back to Samos to visit the inside of the monestary, but travel there might just be a little complicated...we'll see. However, during this time in a Santiago, I am going to enjoy the time in the many historical churches and monestaries that are around without having to worry about packing, having a curfew, or time in general. YES!!

I am hoping that this will give the time I need to process all that I can from this pilgrimage. It's been a wonderful ride, but now it's time to ponder it.

After getting a map from the tourist's office, I checked into my hotel. It's actually pretty nice. I quickly washed my clothes and unpacked my backpack. Wait....this I don't have worry about packing it back up in the morning...yes!

I quickly started making a list of the things that I wanted to see (there are a lot of places). Packed my "day pack" and hit the town.

First stop...Cathedral of St. James of course! I didn't get to tour it yet. The entrance is under construction..hence the metal structure in the pictures. It was not near as full as it was on Sunday. Waiting was the right decision.
The chapel used for Italian pilgrim mass. It was dark...the alter was a that was lit.

The adoration room.
The pipe organ that is still used in services (it's in the middle of the church).
Since the church is in the shape of a cross...the is the left part of "the cross" shape...
(English mass is held here)
Leading to the high alter.
The high alter.

Right side of "the cross" shape.
Going around the top of the cross within the church.
The Polish chapel.
The various chapels along the top of the cross...

I finally ended up at Saint James' cript. You can't take pictures there. It was beautiful though. That cathedral was really neat. I can't wait to go to the pilgrim's mass (went to high mass on Sunday after first arriving)...I bet it's wonderful. 

I was trying to locate a monestary when I ran into a few places I was going to stop at later.

First was the church of Pelayo. I was the only one inside for a while which made for some great prayer/meditation time. The high alter was gorgeous! It holds some sacred art, but that portion was closed. 
The high alter...
The left side of the church...

The back of the church...

My next find was the church of Saint Bieito. This place blew me away. The outside would make you think this place would be a humble little chapel, but it is just amazing. The paintings inside were fabulous.
Each picture takes you around the church and ends with a look at the ceiling at the alter.

My first day back was a great one. Saw some folks that I walked with over the past month. One guy told me about Ssn Sebastian...I'm looking into it (it's part of another Camino with great beaches) since Samos looks like it's out (sad). 

It has felt strange not walking with my pack or in my boots today. Not walking for hours and hours to a specific destination doesn't seem normal. Maybe it will after a few days, but I don't know. I love seeing the other pilgrims just arriving with the joy that they have finally's just great. I pray that the experience has made an impact on their lives.