Hello St. James,
I AM IN SANTIAGO!!! Saying it's extraordinary, just doesn't do it. I got here yesterday afternoon (Thurs 21st) and walked straight to the Cathedral. Once I got into the Old City, I was in crowds of Pilgrims and tourists. Then the Cathedral, I really don't have words for what I felt (I know, right?). Then it started to rain and hundreds of us ran for cover, one of the pictures is where we all were. It was exciting. Then it stopped, was beautiful, and I had to find my hotel.
Trying to book places ahead, a few days ago, was much more difficult than I thought. The city is packed. I had booked a beautiful place a couple of months ago for Mon and Tues (my train leaves Wed. for Madrid), and I got a room for Sunday in a Hostal I've stayed in before (really nice, above a cafe, right by the Cathedral). The official Pilgrim Albergue is the Seminario Menor (former Minor Seminary), that have hundreds of beds and little private rooms (not unlike my room at our former Minor Seminary, Cathedral College), and all they had for Thurs was a bed in a dormitory, and a room for Fri and Sat (where I am now). I panicked and scoured Google maps until I found a hotel room (can not do one more night on a cot, in the middle of 40 snoring people). Also, the Albergue is a bit out from the old city, and on top of a steep, giant hill (naturally), so I'm still getting some walking in. I will tell you more about Santiago, I'll be here a few days. I already booked two Cathedral tours. The night tour (10:30 pm tonight), and a tour of the roof and towers of the Cathedral, they actually bring you up there ("How did he die on the Camino?" "Oh, he fell off the the top of the Cathedral"), 11:00 am tomorrow. The pictures to follow are just some random shots from yesterday and today. There will be a plethora to follow. I have to tell you, I really felt like I was bringing the Parish and my loved ones in here with me. Thank You for your support and Prayer. Peace, Fr. Bob
Seminario Menor (Albergue de Pelegrinos)