Discalced Carmelite Friars

Province of St. Therese

Camino de Santiago - page 14

A Pilgrim's Progress: Fr. Stephen Sanchez, OCD, on the Camino de Santiago – 2018 - page 14

Aug 11th

Morning of tours.

So we had booked two tours. The first tour at 10am and which would cover 'old town' or the 'historic section', and the second tour at noon which would cover the Cathedral Museum and the Cathedral itself.

We met downstairs at 9:30 and left to meet our guide in the Praza de Obrieros (Workers plaza) this was the area in which the stone masons lived while working on the Cathedral.

We met our guide and began the walking tour around 'old town' and wound up back at the Cathedral around noon. We went to the tour office and picked up a different guide for the Cathedral tour.

We then went through the Cathedral Museum tour - sorry no pictures allowed - of some of the history of the foundation and construction of the cathedral plus some beautiful sacred art. Afterwards we then went into the Cathedral itself with our tour guide. We were shown the tomb of St. Teodomiro, the hermit saint that discovered the relics of St. James.

We got done around 2-ish and were Museumed-out! Went to the rooms and napped 😴.

We went for an early dinner - no civilized person dines before 9pm - walked around the city for a bit then called it a night. Americanos!!!!😆

Blessed be God in His Angel's and in His saints!!

Cathedral - morning of tours
Cathedral - morning of tours
Santiago de Compostela - morning of tours
Santiago de Compostela - morning of tours
St. Martin Pinario
St. Martin Pinario
St. Martin - closer shot
St. Martin
Oldest entrance to the cathedral
Oldest entrance to the cathedral
Relief work over cathedral entrance arches
Relief work over cathedral entrance arches
Galician plateresque
Galician plateresque
Facade wall
Facade wall
University of Geography and History
University of Geography and History
Detail - University of Geography and History
Detail - University of Geography and History
Cathedral cloister - Santiago
Cathedral cloister - Santiago
Cathedral cloisters
Cathedral cloisters
Capilla de Alva - cloisters
Capilla de Alva - cloister
Detail - Capilla de Alva
Detail - Capilla de Alva
Tomb of St. Teodomiro
Tomb of St. Teodomiro
Tour morning - group picture
Tour morning

Aug 12th

Well thank God we decided to go the Vigil Mass at the Cathedral last night because this day was long!

We got up and got ourselves together and left the hotel by 9am and took a bus to the Campostela airport where the Raads rented a car for us for our trip to Finestera - on the coast about another 60kms from Santiago. This is where the Roman's believed that the world ended - Fines Terra. One of the reasons the Apostles James and Paul wanted to bring the Gospel to hispaniola - to the end of the world!

Originally we planned on a picnic here to bring the pilgrimage to an 'official' end. We travelled through more green hills and as we got closer to the coast a heavy mist began and then as we drove to the Cape a heavy thick fog envelopedus... ummmm... no picnic?

As we neared the lighthouse - which we could not see because of the fog! Ironic!! We saw swarms of people! Most in light raincoats, or ponchos or sweaters - it was chilly and damp. Everyone is vying for a parking place while other pilgrims are walking along the road.

Many pilgrims do not end their pilgrimage at the Cathedral but at Finestera. Strange - one would think that the end would be the Cathedral itself. It is also part of 'the tradition' that you burn something at Finestera.

We finally find a parking spot and get out into the thick fog. We find the stone cross that is dedicated to the 'port of the dead' - I don't dare ask what that means.

We take a photo by the stone cross then go in search of the lighthouse. We find it at last and decide on a cup of coffee at the café nearby to warm up a bit.

While sipping on the coffee we see on the monitor beautiful scenes of the place while the sun is shining. Too bad we didn't get to see any of it!

Then surprisingly we meet 'the Danes'! - minus the German girl Leia. We have a 'catch up' visit with them and they tell us that they are spending the night in Finestera and traveling back to Santiago the next day.

After the coffee we three go to the top of an outcrop over the bay and throw our stones into the bay. Another custom is that you pick up a stone on 'the Way' and take it with you throughout the journey. It represents your 'concern' or 'intention' - since I had two intentions I had two stones: vocations to the Province; spiritual well being of my directees. You are supposed to drop them at the Iron Cross on the Camino but we wanted to carry them to Finestera. So I threw my two intentions into the Sea of God's Mercy and commended them to Him.

That done we went back to the car to find lots of empty spaces and fewer people. We climbed in and started to head to Avila, a five- hour car trip!! Poor Peter!!! We leave Galicia and start traveling into the vast plains towards Avila. After what seemed an eternity we finally come upon the walls of Avila and pull over to take some photos and realize that we are parked in front of the Monastery of the Incarnation! Avila has changed so much on the last 25 years!😳😋

Lisa has rented an apartment for two nights and we have to find our way to it - it's 'entre murallas' - within the Walls. Navigating through narrow streets was an experience but we find it, park the car in their garage and we are shown to the apartment. We are all exhausted from the long drive, especially Peter. We drop off our bags and go for a walk. We walk out to take pictures of the Walls and as we explore we find ourselves in an exhibit of artisans from all over Spain. Then we find ourselves in front of the statue of Holy Mother. After sitting there for a while we move on and look for a place to have dinner. After dinner we go to the apartment and turn- in. There is no AC or wifi - detachment continues!

Cross at Finestera
Cross at Finestera
Pilgrims at the foot of the Cross in Finestera
Pilgrims at the foot of the Cross in Finestera
Lighthouse not visible in dense fog
Non-visible lighthouse
0 kms marker Finistera - end of the world
0km End of the world
0 km marker detail
0km marker detail
NE highway towards Avila
NE highway towards Avila
Outside of the Incarnation monastery in Avila
Outside of the Incarnation
St. Teresa outside the Incarnation monastery in Avila
St. Teresa outside the Incarnation monastery in Avila
Walls of Avila as seen from the Incarnation monastery
Walls as seen from Incarnation
Walls of Avila at sunset
Walls of Avila at Sunset
Holy Mother at Plaza de Santa Teresa in Avila
Holy Mother - Plaza St. Teresa
Holy Mother from a different angle
Holy Mother - a different angle
Avila Cathedral at night
Avila Cathedral at night