Santiago and Beyond - August 1 - 11, 2016

Would Santiago Smile?
Over the final two days, we walked 45.7 kilometers (28.3 miles) to arrive in Santiago on August 2nd. A short distance into the city, we happened upon two couples that we knew. It was fitting to see them before heading to the cathedral, the official end of our trip. While in Santiago, we attended the noon mass and, later, entered the tomb of St. James. Exploring the crowded city streets, we slipped into a small restaurant for raciones (portions) - pulpo, clams, mussels and peppers. Delicious! Over the next forty-eight hours, we had dinner with Camino friends and obtained our pilgrim credential.

What's Inside?
Outside - Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
Inside - Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
Not wanting to stop, I walked out to Finisterre to meet Christina. On two consecutive evenings, we left town and hiked to Cape Finisterre to watch the sunsets. These evenings felt like a beginning, not an ending.

Windmills in the Morning - Camino Finisterre 
"To the End" Atlantic in Sight - Camino Finisterre
Stone Trail Marker with Eucalyptus Leaves - Camino Finisterre
Zero Kilometers - Cape Finisterre
Turning Toward the Sun - Cape Finisterre
Where the World Ends - Cape Finisterre
After taking a bus back to Santiago, we hopped a train to Madrid. Our friend Kelley, who I went to high school and college with, offered us a place to sleep for two nights in his downtown apartment. For the next forty-eight hours, we enjoyed kicking around the city with him. The stay was punctuated by our visit to the Prado museum. After spending several hours in the private collection, we had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the largest body of work by Hieronymus Bosch ever assembled. This special presentation marked the five-hundred-year anniversary of his death in 1516.

Overwhelmed by the countess, peculiar stories that were told in Bosch's work, I started wondering what I had missed along the Camino. I will undoubtedly return.

I'll be reflecting on this trip for quite some time. I know that, in a short while, I will feel the pull of simplicity. Christina and I are currently in talks about our next adventure.

Gazing at the "Garden" - Prado Museum
Posing at the Prado Museum - Madrid, Spain
Sleeping Situation During Layover (Busted by Security 3.5 Hours Later) - Keflavik Airport, Iceland 

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