Santiago de Compostela
Last night we got back from our trip to Santiago and Lisbon. It seems that all went well. Asun and I certainly enjoyed ourselves tremendously, and I believe the students did as well. The weather could not have been better. It was a long drive, but not nearly as bad as last year. Using two vans worked out quite well. We had our lunch break in Tordesillas, where Juana la Loca, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabelle, was locked away in a convent for thirty-four years. The convent is still there, but it had closed for lunch and we couldn't visit. In Santiago we made the usual visits and spent time just walking the city's enchanting Ruas. In the cathedral's museum I admired an image of the Virgin I don't recall having noticed on previous visits. How could I have missed it? Quite strange: imagine representing Mary as a pilgrim on her way to Santiago, as if she were out for a Sunday stroll! I was rather touched, as this image, which I've certainly never seen anywhere else, corresponds to a very high degree with a mental image I have of a possible assumption, described in an entry back in August (See the entry for 8/16/08). But in this case it's a horizontal journey. Asun and I really lucked out at lunch time. With dozens and dozens of restaurants to choose from, we just picked one somewhat randomly. Good choice! The octopus was perfect, the barnacles exquisite, and the turbot Asun had wonderful. The old town of course is in most ways always the same, but many of the stores, bars and restaurants have been refurbished in recent years and overall the place is a lot more prosperous looking compared to years past. In the photo, the baroque main facade of the cathedral, as seen from the Alameda park, looking through the filter of a just flowering tree. Notalgia madness: I had that view with Asun twenty-seven years ago; could never have imagined then we'd return all these years later, and much less in the circumstances that surround us!