From Day 4 to 7, we were were mostly in Spain and in smaller cities.
Day 4: From Braga we went to Santiago De Compostela, Spain. When we got there, the tour bus dropped us at the bus parking and we walked to St. James Cathedral. This Cathedral houses the remains of the Apostle James’ remains beneath the high altar. Further, this cathedral is known for its Botafumeiro, a large censer. On certain religious high days, an important person would pull the rope and swing it dispensing clouds of incense through the whole Cathedral. Apparently, its a whole show. However, when we went, the person who did the whole swinging got injured and he wasn’t able to do it.
Day 5: There was an optional excursion to Cabo Finisterre in the morning. If you like cliffs and ocean this is something you want to check out! This excursion starts of at the Church of Our Lady of Boat near Muxia, Spain. This church is right next to the Atlantic Ocean. Then they take you to this lighthouse on the top of some cliffs. You then have lunch next to this marina. I had one of the best Paella! After the excursion they take you back to the city center of Santiago De Compostela; if you want to check out the city more or you can go to the hotel.
The hotel we stayed in on Day 4 and 5 was Gran Hotel Los Abetos. For some reason, this hotel felt like any other hotel in the United States. Talk about two double beds that were actually queen size beds and not twin beds. The hotel itself is not walk-able distance to the city center. It’s a bit far and we took a taxi and it costs about 7-8 Euros I believe. We stayed in Santiago De Compostela after the excursion because dinner was not provided. However, some people did have dinner at the hotel. For some reason dinner was provided for the first night we were there but not for the second.
Day 6: This day was mainly a long trek from Santiago De Compostela to Burgos. We had a short stopover in the middle of the journey for mass because it was a Sunday. I’m not sure which church it was, but it was kind of in the middle of nowhere. It was a small town (I don’t know if I should call it a town) that had 2 pubs, one inn and a church? I think it was just one of those pass through places. This was the first time I ever met people who actually walks for vacation. To say the least it was very interesting since I don’t think it was planned in the itinerary. Our tour leader was pretty amazing!
We got to Burgos around 5 pm. We settled in and the tour leader took us to the Cathedral of Saint Mary of Burgos. We were then free to roam about Burgos for the night. I’ve never seen so many chapels and tombs inside a Cathedral in my life! This was the also the first time I experienced a Siesta. A siesta is a period in the late afternoon when everything shuts down in Spain. The siesta is from approximately 4 pm to 8/9 pm. My parents and I were so hungry that we just found some open restaurant that didn’t really have good food.
The hotel we stayed in was called the Corona de Castilla. I have to say that this was the oldest out of all the hotels we stayed in. It was clean but the bed spreads and furniture was a bit dated. My mom couldn’t sleep here since she thought it was a bit haunted. lol. But I guess neither did the other people in our group because apparently their air conditioning didn’t work that night.
Day 7: We left Burgos in the morning to Sanctuary of Loyola that was built in honor of San Ignacio de Loyola, founder of the Jesuit religious order. We had mass at the chapel and had a short tour about the life of the house in the back of the basilica. The basilica was amazing! One the most beautiful ones I’ve seen. The pastor who did the mass was very nice. After the tour we went back to the basilica and he had some pianist play the organ and you can hear the music echo throughout the basilica.
Off to Lourdes!