Through Portugal to Santiago de Compostella
These are the photos from the long drive through Portugal to Santiago de Compostella and from Compostella itself. It was an impulse drive. AlteCocker's original destination was Porto, but Portugal's crazy tolls described in the Salamanca blog--and Porto's straight up streets made her decide to make a "pilgrimage" to Santiago de Compostella. Of course, AlteCocker went in the car--not on foot. Plety of modern day "pilgrims" make the journey on foot for varying amounts of the journey and through various routes. The journey ends with the pilgrims' mass (every day at noon during the pilgrimage season) and "embracing" the statue of St. James and visiting the crypt where the saint is supposedly buried. Since St. James' body was "discovered in the 9th century, who knows who is buried in the crypt, but one takes the journey simply because so many have done it before. Many of the modern day "pilgrims" do it more as a personal challenge and not because they are religious. Whatever your persuasion--and AlteCocker is of Jewish background--the mass is a very moving experience.