July 21 - 24

  Close up of the Cathedral de Santiago.  There was some work going on because the King of Spain was coming for the Feast of St. James on the 25th.  I had to leave on the day before.
   Inside the Cathedral.

    Close up of the altar.  The person in the middle is St. James himself.  There is a tradition for pilgrims to enter through the back of the church, come behind the altar, and give the statue of the Apostle a hug and kiss the scallop shell on his back.  Yes, I did it, too.

   An unknown building.  I just liked the architecture.

   This was a statue in the church from an interesting story the Camino.  Once, the Muslim Moors occupied much of the south of Spain.  During one battle, the Moors and Spanish were lined up against each other and the Spanish were badly outnumbered.  Suddenly, a man appeared on a white horse.  He charged into the Moorish lines and slaughtered 40,000 of them.  As it was near the Camino that this happened, it was thought to be Santiago returning to help the Christians.  In this context, he was known as 'Santiago Matamoros'  St. James the Moor-slayer.'  

     Sunset over the dome of the Cathedral.

    Santiago was a very lively city, especially in the old quarter during the festival season.  There were many street performers like this violinist, playing for change.  He entertained me while I was having a cup of tea (and a hot chocolate, due to miscommunication).

    And sometimes people would just start dancing in the streets for no apparent reason.

    Once I was looking for a place to eat and came up on an outdoor classical music concert.  Things like this made my stay here nice.

   Taking a break.  I got a bit lazy during my stay in the city.

   I had a funny thing happen at this cafe.  On the menu were three different listings for everything.  I found cappuccino and looked at the prices.  The price under the heading 'terraza' was the most expensive, so I thought it was the biggest.  I sat down and ordered one 'cappuccino terraza.'  The lady understood and brought it to me.  The next two time I came here the waiter didn't understand.  Finally, one of them explained.  Terraza meant 'terrace.'  The prices were different depending on where you sat, not the size.  I had just ordered coffee and the entire outside sitting area.  

     The red roofs of Santiago.  Many of the townhouses in Spanish cities had red roofs.

   I found this in the Santiago airport, at the duty free shop.  Europeans are serious with the health warnings.

Extra:   Download a short video of the giant swinging censer (400kb).

In the Catholic Church, it's common to burn incense and swing it over the holy things.  During the pilgrim's mass, a giant censer is swung back and forth in the church.  I made a video of it with my digital camera.  It is just 10 seconds long and only 400 kb big.

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