So, I arrived yesterday in Santiago after 32 days of walking (and 2 tourist days).
Santiago is Spanish for Saint James, the first apostle to lose his life for his faith. There are some early historical manuscripts that note James caring for the people of northern Spain. It is believed that his remains were discovered around 800 in the area where Santiago is now located. These remains are in a decorative coffin on view right below the central podium in the Cathdral de Santiago.
The Cathedral is crowded with visitors, even at 10 a.m. many people trying to claim an early seat for the noon mass. Already this morning the streets around the cathedral are crowded. Numerous languages. Tour groups. Students on class trips. And many pilgrims.
Yesterday I felt discombobulated. Too much stuff happening. Too many people, lots of noise and activity. But I met a couple of Canadians I recognized from 3 weeks previous. We agreed to meet for supper and eventually our table included 2 Americans and an Irish lady. We had so much fun talking about the camino experience, hearing stories, laughing at the misadventures. We were the last to leave the restaurant, all of us feeling at peace, restored somehow. And each of us heading off in a different direction.
And so it is – the restorative fellowship that binds people together for a brief moment in time.
Oops, gotta go. I need to clear out of my hotel room and get to the train station. On my way home. Yippee!