The cathedral square is a sight to see for a weary traveler, and they all seem to ” hang out” and savor the scene for a long while. Many lie on their backs, with their heads propped up by their packs, staring up at the very top of the cathedral spires. Then there are the “reunions”, seeing “friends”……….. made a few Alburgues ago, who have made their way to the square at a different pace. Lots of hugs, laughs, loud stories of the different “ways”. Oddly, the place to go for the final documentation, is not in the square, but a rather hard to find place a few blocks away. I guess they figure if you have made it this far, you are likely up for the challenge of how to find office.
This was incredible group who seem to play each night in the cathedral square.
In order to qualify, you have to have walked the last 100 km, or cycled the last 200. We later found out we would have qualified with the medical papers, but thought we would rather wait until the next time, and go for the full meal deal.
The pilgrims gradually make their way down one of the 3-4 narrow roadways lined with restaurants, cafe/bars,stores, banks, and hostels. The cafe/bars/restaurants have outdoor tables, and it appears like one big party. Everyone is happy. (The happiest place on earth) (Isn’t that what they call Disneyland?) well this is the same only better. No one really appears drunk. It seems that most people stay for at least 3 days, so you just wander through “the party”, for another day, and then …. Another day.
It really has been fun. There is something special about spending time in a fun place, after achieving something that was hard to do……… and spending the time with your ” comrades in arms”. Those whom which you have had a common difficult endeavor, you have a special bond with. THAT is what makes Santiago de Compostella a very special place.
Definately a sight that seems to conjure up questions in those we pass by. Soon we fly to Vancouver, we are currently in CDG airport, Paris.