BootsnAll Travel Network

Compostela Interrupted

One of the differences between Portugal and Spain is that Spain is far more prosperous, and I suppose one bit of fallout from that is the fact that public transportation is not what it was, now that so many people own their own cars. As a result, the train from Santiago that used to leave for Lisbon at 6:25 a.m. has been cancelled. I am booked in a hostel in Santiago for tonight and in another one in Sintra, Portugal (near Lisbon) tomorrow. The only way I can get to Sintra tomorrow is to leave Santiago today, in a couple of hours, forfeiting my night in the hostel here and forfeiting the remainder of my second day in Santiago. I then ride the trains all night, with various layovers and changes. I arrive in Lisbon at 5:15 tomorrow morning, wait around for a couple of hours, and finally get another train for Sintra. Migraine material, and not as I hoped it would be, but so it is. I went to the Cathedral this morning. There is a Pilgrim Mass at noon, and at 11 a.m., every seat in the house was taken already. The queue for the Tree of Jesse had over 200 people in it. There are large tour groups being led by people who speak very loudly and carry umbrellas so their tour group can see where they are. The energy has a wa-WAH-wwwwaaaaa quality, like deep feedback from a sound system. The stores selling tourist junk were open at dawn: hats and sticks with pilgrim shells on them, shell necklaces, shell earrings, shell purses, shell shoes, shell ashtrays, shell dishes, shell T-shirts of many varieties, shell candy, shell sandwiches, backpacks with shells on them (for pilgrims who may have met bed-bugs on the way and had to throw their old backpacks away, I suppose), and the beat goes on. It´s a beautiful, beautiful city, and early August is probably its busiest time of the year. I loved it. I got the book. I´m leaving it. No more time for blogging today.


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