Why wait in line when you can get up early?

Santiago day 2: Since the beginning of the Camino in 1078 at the end of a pilgrim’s Camino he/she received a document called a compostela certifying completion. In many cases this was required by the church or civil court that had offered the pilgrimage in lieu of excommunication or prison for sins/crimes commited. To this day pilgrims line up at the Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago to receive their compostela (327,000 in 2018). When I dropped by the office at 11:00am yesterday the line was already 3+hours long, mostly folks who had arrived the day before, I decided to do the same – return the next day/today.

The office opens at 8:00; so I set my alarm and arrived at 6:30 expecting a line to be already forming. Well, I was wrong. I was the first on site. By 6:35 there was two of us, by 6:40 four, by 7:00 dozens and by 8:00 hundreds. What I did not know was that the first 10 pilgrims are invited to a lunch at the Coxebre at The Parador Hotel, the finest restaurant in town. To say that we were wined and dined is both literally true and an understatement. Beautiful dinning room, lovely china and silver, Spanish meat pie, an amazing pork (in about 5 forms) and bean soup, Smoked and braised pork shank and the local specialty of almond and butter cake all served with very good bread and nice red and white wine. As it turns out the first 10 folks came from all over the world and generations but all spoke English and were very pleasant lunch companions.

The whole thing was a really nice surprise. The tradition comes from the Middle Ages when room and board was provided too all pilgrims at no cost for up to 3 days. A night’s stay in The Parador Hotel today can easily run you into the hundreds of euros – and no I am not staying there.

I’ll be in Santiago for a few more days so I am sure I will bore you with more of my experiences – I am not making you read this🤷🏼‍♂️. I am thinking a food addition tomorrow. I mean, who doesn’t like pictures of good food? At some point I will also write about all the renovations be done on the Cathedral here. But food is more interesting don’t you think?

I was asked yesterday on Facebook how many miles I walked. Well me and my Apple Watch did the math: 32 day/ 672.54 miles/ 1006.74 km/ 1,229,716 steps. This includes detours and walking after I had reached the day’s destination

Now the good part, pictures


4 thoughts on “Why wait in line when you can get up early?

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