Ponte de Lima to Santiago de Compostela – day 3

DAY 1 (15th August 2013)
Cities visited: Ponte de Lima (Portugal), Vigo (Galicia, Spain)
Accommodation: Hostal Casais (Vigo) – 38€/double room (breakfast included)
DAY 2 (16th August 2013)
Cities visited: Vigo (Galicia, Spain), Pontevedra (Galicia, Spain), Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain)
Accommodation: Pensión Obradoiro (Santiago de Compostela) – 55€/ double room (breakfast included)
Dinner: Casa Manolo (Santiago de Compostela) – 10€/person
DAY 3 (17th August 2013)
Cities visited: Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
Lunch: Casa Manolo (Santiago de Compostela) – 10€/person


On the third and last day of our trip to Santiago de Compostela (17th August 2013) we went again to “Catedral de Santiago” (Santiago Cathedral). Due to the Mass, it was not possible to enter the Cathedral on the previous day. But on that day, as we arrived there before Mass time, we had time to visit the Cathedral and then we stayed to attend the Pilgrim’s Mass, held at 12 o’ clock.

18_santiago_compostelaWe left the Cathedral as soon as the Pilgrim Mass ended and we looked for a restaurant, other than “Casa Manolo”, to have lunch. However, we didn’t see any restaurant that seemed as good as the restaurant where we had dinner on the previous day, so we decided to go again to “Casa Manolo”. Contrary to the previous day, we had to wait about 15 minutes for a table. When we left the restaurant there was even a longer queue of people waiting for a free table.

Next, we visited the “Mercado de Abastos” (Abastos Market), which is the second most visited place in Santiago de Compostela. As we arrived there at its closing time, there was little to see and to buy.

We went back to Santiago’s Cathedral to hug the statue of St. James. We had to enter the Cathedral through the lateral door and we had to line up in the queue for quite some time. While we were approaching St. James statue, we passed by the silver casket containing his remains.

As we still had some time, we wandered in the city looking for some geocaches and we bought some traditional pastries: “tarta de Santiago” (cake of St. James) and “caprichos de Santiago”. “Tarta de Santiago is an almond pie and “caprichos do Santiago” are a kind of cookies made of almonds. They are both delicious!

13_santiago_compostela_catedralOur trip was coming to its end. We returned home, just making a short stop on a gas station.

Pligrim Rituals
In order to complete his pilgrimage, a pilgrim must perform 3 rituals when he arrives in Santiago de Compostela. The rituals are:
– Inside the Cathedral, in the “Pórtico de la Gloria” (Gateway of Glory), one should gently knock his head three times on the statue of Master Mateo in the hope that some of the Master’s wisdom is transferred to the pilgrim. Master Mateo was the one responsible for the construction of the “Pórtico de la Gloria”.

– The pilgrim should hug the statue of St. James so that St. James will attend the pilgrim’s wishes.

– The pilgrim should attend the Pilgrim Mass, which is celebrated everyday at noon.

There’s another ritual performed by pilgrims when they first enter Santiago’s Cathedral. Pilgrims place the fingers of their right hand into five indentations in the marble of the central pillar of the “Pórtico da Gloria”, known as the Tree of Jesse.
However, in order to preserve the Tree of Jesse, this last ritual and the one of head knockings cannot be performed anymore.


2 Responses to “Ponte de Lima to Santiago de Compostela – day 3

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