Camino de Santiago - page 16
Table of Contents:
Table of Contents:
A Pilgrim's Progress: Fr. Stephen Sanchez, OCD, on the Camino de Santiago – 2018 - page 16
We all got up with the early morning sounds of Avila waking-up and taking to the cobblestone streets. We prepared ourselves the best we could and headed out the door about 8:30 to attend the 9am mass at La Santa. We prayed as we waited. The subprior once again celebrated - St. Maximilian Kolbe. After mass as we sat and made our thanksgiving there was a swarm of pilgrims that came in - about 30 - with cameras and video equipment and a lot of excited chatter. It was a Chinese community that was going to celebrate mass in this shrine. As they prepared for their celebration I went and said goodbye to Our Holy Mother in the separate side- chapel. I commended our Province to her and told her not to forget us because we are small but to pay extra attention to us because we are small.
Again - the search for coffee! I had coffee n toast while others had some protein with their carbohydrates n caffeine.
We headed back to the apartment and prepared to leave for Madrid now that our mini-pilgrammage to Avila was done.
Peter placed himself in God's Hands and went in search of the car and trying to find his way back to the apartment through the narrow and winding streets.
After packing the trunk with the three backpacks and the suitcases of Lisa and Jocelyn - which took some maneuvering and prayers - we headed out to now do two days of 'tourist stuff.' The previous evening I had suggested to Lisa that if we wanted to we could go El Escorial monastery since it was on the way to Madrid. She suggested it to the group as we headed out and everyone thought it would be a great opportunity. I had visited it when I was studying in Avila and told them it was a beautiful place to visit.
Parking was a challenge but Peter's determination found us a spot. We opted for the audio tour. You could pick the two or three- hour tour - we looked for the two- hour tour. The chapel is impressive! No pictures allowed - sorry. It could easily take 4 hours to really enjoy the sacred art. You also tour some of the old royal apartments of Phillip II. The Royal crypts are ABSOLUTELY amazing😯!
Since it is dedicated to St. Lawrence it is shaped like a square grill.
After the tour we headed out to Madrid and in search of our hostal. It was just a couple of streets off of the Puerta del Sol - the main plaza of Madrid. It was a little crazy getting there because of construction but be made it. We off loaded our luggage and Peter and Jocelyn went to return the car since we wouldn't need it in Madrid.
We rested and went out to the Puerta del Sol to meet our 'food' guide. Jocelyn had signed us up to do a 'tapas tour'. Our guide was very nice and hospitable - we then went to three different restaurants. The first for some gazpacho and paella, at the second we had some Iberian ham (its VERY expensive in the USA?!) with cava, and at the third restaurant we had sangría and fresh spanish tortilla (egg and potato fritata). We went home happy with our 'food tour.' Praise God for a comfortable bed, no noise, and AC!!