However, at the end of the mass, when everyone that went forward had received communion and were seated, a hush came across the crowd as men in maroon vestments came forward and the large incense burners started swinging. This tradition was originally started in medieval times because the cathedral was filled with pilgrims that smelled from weeks or months of walking. Today it is a tradition that for me was magical and really completed my six week journey across Spain. We had heard that they weren’t doing it every day, they did it only on Fridays; so we weren’t expecting it. We heard wrong.
Turn your sound up to enjoy this little snippet of a video (you can also enlarge the video by clicking the marks in the lower right):
Come share the time with me in the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral:
We entered through a door on the east side and found a seat as we knew seating for the mass was at a premium.
After the mass we stayed in the Cathedral wandering around, looking into every little crook and cranny. Other than the ornate altar, it was quite simple and plain.
After the mass I was able to get up closer to the altar to take these.
We left the cathedral and went to a four-level museum within the western face of the cathedral. As we walked up the stairs we were treated with reaching the roof on the top level. We walked out on the ancient stones and imagined how it might look when the present day restoration is completed.
We looked at our watches and knew it was time to leave the Cathedral, it was almost 3 pm and we had an early flight in the morning to return to San Diego; we hadn’t eaten since breakfast. We left silently so filled with the awe and the extent of knowledge we had received in the cathedral and in the museum. We had lunch again in our favorite restaurant in Santiago, Casa Manolo. As we walked back to our hotel, La Salle, I felt complete and satisfied with my journey. I am blessed that I was able to complete it. I am still processing it all, but I turned around and took my last view of ancient streets of old Santiago and snapped this picture:
May 27, 2016
I am home now, shaking off the jet lag, processing this wonderful experience and looking at the wonderful photos that are a part of the journey. I have shared on this blog just a few of the hundreds of photos I took. When I get a little more settled I will come up with a way to share all the photos that will be easy and entertaining. So, for those interested, you can keep following the blog and look forward to hearing from me again. Thank you for your interest, your comments and your encouragement in sharing this journey with me.