Day 84 and 85: Santiago De Compostela, Spain

Days 84 and 85: October 14th and 15th

We almost decided not to visit Santiago De Compostela on this trip but am I glad we are here.

The town is most famous for being the destination for millions of pilgrims. Called the Way of St.James, people arrive here on foot from all over Europe to visit the Cathedral which houses the relics of St.James, the apostle. The pilgrimage has a history going back to the 9th century when the saint’s remains were discovered here. (

We were in for an amazing surprise when we walked into the cathedral this morning. There was a special service that was just starting for the pilgrims who had walked here (yes, people still walk here). The highlight of the service was the swinging of the Botafumeiro. It is a swinging metal container in which incense is is hung from the ceiling of the cathedral and has a pulley mechanism and there are five-six people who are appointed to swing it. It is very rare to see a service at Santiago where they bring out the Botafumeiro….they only bring it out for special occasions. It was very special to see this and we felt very lucky to be there. I couldn’t take a video as we weren’t sitting very close but I found one on YouTube that was filmed in Santiago. (

We’ve spent the rest of our time in Santiago just relaxing and reading and updating our blogs.:) It has rained for the last two days but it hasn’t been too cold which is perfect.

Santiago has been special indeed. Tomorrow, we head to the South via Madrid. This is the part of Spain I’m most excited about. Next stop, Seville!

The Cathedral on a rainy day

The Cathedral

A pilgrim walking across the square

The swinging botafumeiro

Special service for the pilgrims with the botafumeiro in the centre

The botafumeiro against the altar

Local speciality…octopus for lunch!

Altar at one of the many smaller chapels inside the cathedral

Bell tower lost in the clouds


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