Sunday, October 9, 2016

Pontevedra Let's Take a Break

Lots of Scallop shells all written on by passing pilgrims. 
Dos perigrinos!
Pilgrim Church in the shape of a scallop shell!
Main cathedral 
After taking the lovely meandering creekside but longer 'road less traveled ' yesterday,  into Pontevedra,  to avoid walking the road, we finally made it to this award winning city for design.  What a pretty place!  Checked into the Hotel Madrid,  an adequate two star. We cleaned up and rested as is our daily routine if we can, and headed out to find the tourist office.  We've been in touch with our German friend Sebastian who is now already home and back to his regular life.  I refuse to call it reality! He had some information for us and we are seriously considering walking a route called the Variante Espiritual. A two day bypass of the regular route that joins the Portuguese route and the "Sea Trail", the Source of all paths. In 44 AD the estuary of Arousa was crossed by the ship carrying the body of the apostle St. James. His remains were taken by his followers,  who "led by an angel and guided by a star" arrived at the coast of Galicia and climbed the bed of the river Ulla until reaching Iria Flavia  (now the village of Padron and our last stop before walking into Santiago.)

Typically it's two 25k days but John has found a way to make it in three. It sounds like quite the adventure. That taken into mind,  since we like Pontevedra, we decide to take a much needed break and stay two nights.  What luxury to have the time to just do what we want.  No schedule to meet.  It feels a little like freedom!

After getting the information at the tourist office,  we wandered around this vibrant Saturday evening watching everyone out and about just enjoying. Children playing, people out walking their dogs, cafes and bars filled to the brim. We went into the main cathedral.  John says that this is one of the most beautiful he has been in. Lots of stained glass and three crypts.  Not sure who is in there.  They are typically nicely carved stone caskets of the likeness of whoever is in them resting peacefully on top. They were a couple,  most likely royalty.

There was also a church of the peregrina. An entire church dedicated to the pilgrim.  The huge structure is shaped like a scallops shell!

Had a delicious piece of pizza then found a menu of soup, salad, broasted chicken and dessert and coffee.  Really hit the spot.  Well the coffee kept John up half the night and I woke up with a bit of intestinal issue BUT neither of us opened our eyes until 8:30! Much needed.  John went on to sleep until 10:30 while I worked on updating the blog.  He had some meds for my stomach that we picked up in Mexico that took care of my problems.  Spent the rest of the day wandering the city,  getting a picnic from a gourmet food store and eating in the park. Tomorrow is a new day and another adventure.  So glad for the rest!  We met Bill and Gina on our second night here and had a glass of wine with them before hugging them goodbye.  Told them of our plans to take the detour and since Gina has prebooked their hotels all the way to Santiago, we promised to stay in touch and try to visit each other in the future either in Canada or the US.

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