Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I Love You, Santiago!

It was a gorgeous day the day we arrived in Santiago de Compostela. Our flight had been great and I even got several hours of sleep. So rather than taking a nap, I took to the streets with my camera. The icon of the city is the Cathedral. Later than afternoon several of us went to Mass.

The cathedral is on the east side of a large square and our hotel -- Hostal de los Reyes Catholicos -- was on the north side. This is one of Spain's paradors -- the government turns historic buildings into fantastic hotels. This is quite likely the world's oldest hotel -- founded in 1499 by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain to house pilgrims who came to the shrine of Saint James. I loved my room and the hotel was wonderful -- beautiful rooms, courtyards, furnishings and a gracious staff.

The first music I heard in Spain was the last I expected to hear -- bagpipes! This northwest corner of the country has a great Celtic heritage. Cut off from the rest of Spain by mountains, Galicia was very different from my expectations -- and I loved it.

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