Santiago de Compostela
DISTANCE: 70 MILES | WEATHER: SUNNY
Woke up in the cemetery before dawn and rushed to the bus station. The bus could only carry 4 bikes, and there were six of us. By grouping our bikes in case 4, we still got on the bus and arrived in Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
According to legend, in the Cathedral city of the remains of the Apostle James. Therefore the city from the early middle Ages is the third holiest site of the Catholic world (after Jerusalem, Rome) the centre of the Catholic Archbishopric and of pilgrimage and the final destination of the famous route, the Camino de Santiago, covering the entire territory of Europe, and gave the city the nickname of "Christian Mecca".
How do you think the believers after the martyrdom of the Apostle James in the year 44, his remains were put in a boat and launched on the waves of the Mediterranean sea. Miraculously, this boat sailed to Spain, where the Saint preached before, and was beached at the mouth of the river of the Hive (where there will be the later of Santiago).
In 813, according to Church tradition, who lived in this area, the hermit Pelayo, following some guiding light, discovered the reliquary, which remained undecayed.
In 896-899 years, king Alfonso III issued a decree, and the findings over the relics was built a small Church. The place was called Compostela (from the Latin. Campus Stellae, "the Place marked with the star"). Saint James, who was wonderful during the battles with the Moors, became the patron Saint of Spain and the Reconquista.
The way of St. James included in the list of protected monuments of UNESCO. The monument is the road itself, which is almost unchanged since the 9th century, whenand the king of Navarre Sancho the Elder and Alfonso VI of León approved a plan "of the French pilgrimage road." Only today the road has become a bit more comfortable for Hiking pilgrims, and for those who travel by bike. It should also be noted that due to the parish priest of Cebreiro don Elias Sampedro, all the way delivered special signs, which display a star with radiating rays in the shape of a shell.
The names of all the pilgrims, who arrived in the city this day, at 12 o'clock shows up in the main Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
This is the pilgrim passport with stamps on passing various points on the route.
And this is the certificate that is issued to the pilgrims if they overcame the route:
All the same, a Certificate, or a full remission of sins is not the ultimate goal of a true pilgrimage. The main thing for a true Christian is how we use the blessings for doing good deeds and giving of helping others. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead (James 2. 26)
We are already planning to explore the city and depart from the route in the direction of Portugal, but then met our charming piligrims. So again we are reunited with Tanya and Olya, but again not forever.
During the time while we relaxed in Oviedo, turned into sidrerias the train and walked around the castle of the knights Templar, Tanya and Olya overcame a bike 200 km pilgrim path and earned the title of pilgrims, and along with the remission of sins.
Santiago has attracted the attention of not only architectural beauty, but also the abundance of living marine creatures who with tied claws floated in the Windows of local shops.
Together we walked another half a day in the city and drove on.
Overnight stay was planned on the island of Isla de Arosa, naming consonant Ilya de Ruso, so we decided that the island was named specifically by name a courageous traveler Ilya from Russia, our glorious leader.
But more about that in next Chapter...