It seems as if the sea around the proud seafarer nation of Portugal, wants to remain in the memory of the two others, Norway and England, that travel with us in great numbers. A remarkable swell shakes us over night on our way to Spain. So everybody is a little tired in the morning when we enter the small port of Vila Garcia in the country’s north to drop off the excursion group that will be heading towards the famous destination of religious pilgrimage, Santiago de Compostela.
Again, buses are there right on time to pick everyone up and start the two-hour ride across the Castilian countryside to arrive finally at Santiago de Compostela to a reasonable amount of traffic, which is definitely a tribute to the modern times:
For more than a thousand years Christianity holds up the belief that the grave found in 814 contains the bones of St. James, one of Jesus’ twelve apostles. So the place evolved over the centuries, from location to chapel to village to town to holy city and is now one of the three major religious pilgrimage centres in the world.
Of course, to go there around Easter is quite a challenge and only for those who do not mind crowds...
Fortunately, the service hadn’t begun yet, so everybody could take a good look at this strange cathedral, sporting a baroque outside and a romanic interior.
In the meantime, MS FRAM casts the lines and makes north to go around the northwesternmost tip of the Iberian Isle, However, leaving Portugal did not necessarily mean quitting on the high seas, FRAM steamed towards Spain under a blue sky, but through waves of 5-8 meters that shook everybody and everything nicely. This established a rather quiet atmosphere on board, although everybody couldn’t help but admire the huge waves that hit the bow and covered the whole vessel in curtains of spray. After an exhausting ride we arrived in La Coruña, only one hour late, to find an exited crowd already waiting on the pier – our fellow travellers.
After a long day, a long walk, a bit of rain and chill and some fascinating insights into one of the hot spots of catholic belief, everybody is glad to rejoin MV FRAM in the tiny port of La Coruña. Feels like home...