Easter in Santiago

I’ve been so immersed lately in the detail of this tour – organising hotels, places to eat, checking routes, locking in support facilities etc – that I seem to have overlooked one really important thing –

We’ll be walking into Santiago de Compostela on Easter Saturday, and we’ll be there on Easter Sunday for the Semana Santa celebrations.

The Catholics in Spain take Easter more seriously than Christmas.

They have parades, processions, they do recreations of the Christ story with huge effigies, and on Sunday there’s feasting, dancing, and all manner of festivities. It’s a crazy time evidently.

And we’ll be right in the thick of it.

Yes there’s the walking, yes there’s the camaraderie, yes there’s the good food and wonderful wine – but we’re also walking an ancient pilgrimage route. And we’re arriving in one of the holiest cities in the world, on one of the holiest days.

As most of you might know, I’m not Catholic, and I’m not even sure I’m a Christian – I veer towards Buddhism – however I think walking the Camino into Santiago at Easter will be pretty damn cool…

Cathedral clouds

64 thoughts on “Easter in Santiago

    • Arlene, I checked with Johnny Walker on that – he said Easter Sunday Mass at the Cathedral would be on a first come, first served basis, same as any other day. I had asked him if it was possible to reserve seating – but he said no.

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      • I can only imagine how early the line starts. Of course, the tour director can always go ahead very early and safe places for all the tour members. HaHa!! 🙂

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  1. We’ll be walking into Santiago de Compostela on Easter Saturday, and we’ll be there on Easter Sunday for the Semana Santa celebrations.

    ewwww … you “forgot” that ?

    LOL

    It’ll be pretty much like walking into Santiago on the Holy Day of Saint James !!!

    Still — good news for any Catholics in the Tour, arriving on that particular day provides the exact same plenary indulgence as during a Holy Year, assuming Confession and Mass attendance of course … (though good luck getting into a Mass at the Cathedral before Sunday afternoon … )

    Might be a bit of a queue at the Pilgrim’s Office … HEHEHE

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    • Johnny Walker says he will arrange to pre-approve us and fast track our Compostelas. I just have to give him a list of our pilgrims who will be completing the tour. Johnny is a good guy and is being very helpful.

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        • Bill, this is great! So as long as we walk our Compostela’s are fast-tracked. I like that!
          Now all you need do is save our seats in the Cathedral – try to get them on one of the sides so we can see the botafumeiro swing. 🙂
          Arléné

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    • i am a buddhis also so I will escape the crazyness of the mass, last time I tried to get in for a sunday mass with the botafumeiro I almost fainted, nearly smashed like a potatoe. I give my seat or my place away.

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      • Marie, I am liking you more and more. Not sure what I am, but I am not Catholic and I do not speak Latin or Spanish or whatever they hold the mass in, so maybe you and I will have coffee. I would like to see the botafumeiro as I missed it last time when I did attend a mass, just because I thought I was supposed to in order to be a “true” pilgrim. Hmmm, maybe I am an impostor pilgrim. Oh well, there is room for all………….. 🙂

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      • I was lucky enough to see it when I finished my Camino. However, the Cathedral was so crowded, even in mid May, I didn’t get a very good view of it!

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        • Myn french pilgrims group have posted on facebook the best techniques to se it. I will passed it to you.

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          • Bill, the french group say that you can reserve seat in the front row if you pay. Maybe some of us could be interested. I do not know how much. I keep asking.

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        • Haha – I’m back in Sydney this week finishing off this little film. It’s been a great experience making it. But it’s really eaten into my preparation. I’m not as nearly well prepared as I was last year. But then again, maybe last year I was TOO well prepared! 🙂

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          • Compared to me, you are super prepared. I’m just going to go and take it as it comes. Besides, if I get tired, I can always ride in the van. I have an age handicap. Ha ha!

            Sent from my iPhone

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          • I think you’ll be fitter than me Steve, from all accounts! Still, it’s not as tough as the previous one. And yes, the van is there for the elderly and the infirm!! 🙂

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          • Yeah, we don’t need no stinking training!!! 🙂 Your company will be welcome. Then, everyone else will want to get in, just to be with us, we are so magnetic. 🙂

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          • Steve – so now the excuses for not being as fit as you begin. Sure the film in Sydney, sure keeping him from training – yes I’m sure 🙂

            Bill – it’s not a competition, don’t worry about your fitness, it won’t take long for it to return. In fact, I have backed off my training – don’t want to risk injury at this point!

            Arléné

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          • Haha – no Arlene, I never regard these things as competitive. In fact I will probably be last in each day because not only am I a slow walker, I’ll also be stopping to take photos all the time! But for me they will be long days – what with the photo utters at the end of the day, and blogging. And preparing for the next day. So I will need my stamina!

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          • Steve,
            It is very wise to back off on the training at this point. I’m not walking every day anymore, just 3 or 4 times a week now.
            Just got in from a 7 mile hike in the desert and that was only because I’m trying to learn this camera. There isn’t anything worth photographing in my neighbor so my other choice was the desert and once I start walking………well you know what happens. But I won’t go out again for a few days.
            Arléné

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          • hi arlene – when we get together on that first Saturday or Sunday I’ll talk you through the camera and bring you up to speed on it. As with most things, it’s very easy once you know the basics… I’m now starting to do more intensive yoga, to strengthen my back and loosen up my joints. I think that might be better than putting in long miles on the road. I’ve done enough of that!
            🙂

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          • Bill,

            I truly thought I would pick the camera up and start shooting wonderful pictures. After all I am an artist, just figured this would be another medium. Ha! was I in for a surprise! It’s not that easy! I’ve read and still I can’t figure it out. I believe I need to see, touch and feel to learn.

            Needless to say I am looking forward to the lessons!

            Arléné

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          • Taking a good photo is hard! I’ve been at it since 17, professionally, and I still find it hard. Knowing how a camera works is fundamental – like an artist knowing how paints on canvas work – any craftsman needs to understand their tools before they can transcend those tools. I look forward to showing you how – that camera is not hard to master – then the hard part is taking good photos!!

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          • Well, Bill I am more than willing to learn! So in a few weeks you will have at least one “blank canvas” to work with.
            Arléné

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          • Either the 3300 or the 3200. Going to check in Costco this weekend in Houston. Compare them with all the other prices. If they only have 3200, thinking I will get that as less expensive, but do you think 3300 new features are of any significance to a rank beginner? Of course, the right one is better than the cheapest one. 3200 is less anywhere. Your thoughts as one to the other.

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          • Hi Steve – no, it doesn’t matter if the cameras are the same or not. They’re basically the same camera anyway. If price is your criterion, then go for the cheapest. Personally, if it was only $75 or $100 more expensive, I’d go for the newer technology, but any more than that, given what you want from the camera, I don’t think it’s worth it. The 3200 would do everything you’d want from a camera.

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  2. That is really going to be a scene I am sure!! and a unique experience for all of you, And You can plan a visit back to the cathedral on Monday when its quieter.

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      • I think 6 am is too late, we should camp on the front door since the day before to have a chance to get in lol

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      • That, of course, is the tour leader’s job. If I had to get there at 6 am or much earlier as I suspect, I will experience it vicariously through you adventuresome souls. I imagine the cathedral looks and feels exactly as it did when I was there in June. The cathedral is nice, but I am going for the fellowship and camaraderie. And of course to practice my walking and use of poles. 🙂 Bill, you can instruct me on poles and cameras. 🙂 Maybe a few other things also. 🙂

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  3. Apropos not much of the above, when we were there, Janet and I went to look at the cathedral at midnight after our ‘farewell’ dinner. It was magical, with hardly a cloud in the sky – and we could see that as there was a very bright moon, which had ‘parked itself right at the top of one of the spires of one of the side buildings! There was not another person anywhere to be seen in that huge space; almost didn’t want to breathe in case that would change the feeling of peace and awesomeness of the moment. Whatever happens on that Sunday treasure it!! 🙂 – and I can’t wait to hear your stories. Love to you all, Britta

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    • Hey Britta, that sounds wonderful, that experience. And one you’ll remember all your life, I’m sure. Although it might depend on how much wine you had at that final dinner! 🙂

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      • A bit of this and a bit of that!!! We did have heaps, which that was pretty normal for us as a group, but we still managed to not go over THAT limit and I certainly don’t remember wobbling over the cobble-stoned streets to get from the restaurant to the cathedral!! I have a (from memory) wonderful photo of the table strewn with empty bottles and glasses as we were ready to leave – might just send that to you along with one of the ones from out midnight time in front of the cathedral 🙂

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