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I am in Santiago de Compostela.
I left Vilamaior around 8:15 a.m. and got over Monte do Gozo (which means Forest of Joy) and as I started descending I could see Santiago.
(Statues at the top of Monte do Gozo with
the Santiago Cathedral Spires in the distance - to the left)
Of course, once I was down and started walking into the city, it took about 40 minutes to get to the Cathedral.
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral
By 10:30, I had my Compostela--my certificate of accreditation (see example below) for having completed the journey.
I have to tell you that when I reached the Pilgrim's Office next to the Cathedral, where I was to get my Compostela, I was sobbing. I cried as I waited in line.
And, when I reached the woman who did the paper work, I was a basket case. I apologized and she said, "This is very normal. People's emotions surface for different reasons."
My tears were of great joy and thanksgiving for:
Thank you, thank you, thank you for being my wings, for helping me fly, for helping me get through this journey.
After getting my Compostela, I started running into all kinds of people I had met along the way. It was like a huge graduation or family reunion. I kept being hugged and kissed and we were all so happy to have completed the journey.
I, then, went to the Cathedral for 12:00 mass and cried all through the service.
Santiage de Compostela Cathedral Altar
The church is beautiful and the music--oh the music!
The organ was magnificent and the organist absolutely fabulous! I love organ music and the music in this service filled my soul.
After the service, I went to find my hotel. My daughter, Rochelle, booked me into a wonderful hotel, 3 minutes from the Cathedral.
I am in heaven. I had a lovely surprise in my room.
Someone sent me a package from Lübeck, Germany with all kinds of fabulous marzipan goodies in it. I don't know who sent it, but whoever you are....I love you.
(The idea for this surprise was initiated by Awilda's son, John and his family (see below).
(It then became a joint family gift to celebrate & document this momentous journey and achievement!
Thanks, John and family for the great idea! :-)
So I opened my gift, dropped my things and the first question at the reception was "Where is there an internet cafe where I can use a computer?" And, here I am.
There is so much to tell you. But, that can all wait. I am going to have something to eat because I'm starving. But, it was important to let you know that I am here and to let you know that I couldn't have done this without you.
If I have learned anything on this trip, it is that:
Thank you for manifesting that awareness in my life so concretely.
Tomorrow, I will go to Fisterra ("Finisterre" in Spanish).
(I don't know if I'm spelling it correctly, but my wonderful editor, Rochelle, who has taken my meagre offerings and made them into masterpieces, will certainly make sure it is all correct.)
Santiago (A) to Fisterra (B)
(click to enlarge)
(FYI - The name Fisterra comes from Latin FINIS TERRAE, meaning "Land's End".
This name stems from the fact that this area is on a remote peninsula that is
one of the westernmost points of land in Galicia, and hence in Spain.)
I have two amazingly, creative children. John is occupied, at the moment, with my grandson - an almost 2 year old (born on July 4th) who lives up to his birth date. My grandson is full of fireworks and keeps John running.
So, John's lucky if he has time to read my epistles. But, I do know that he's here with me in spirit.
And, Rochelle has done a splendid job bringing my Epistles to life. Thanks so much, Rochelle.
More, much more to come.
From my heart to yours,