Stuck in Santiago de Campostela (May 2006)Pilgrims arriving at Santiago de Campostela, which is something like the second or third most important pilgrimage site for Catholics. They carry a wooden staff and a scallop shell, which is apparently what St James wore. The cathedral is dedicated to him.
Here I am hanging out in Santiago de Campostela waiting for my train to Porto in Portugal. This town has got the most inconvenient connections....you don´t get here till late at night and you can´t get out till the late afternoon. Normally I check at the train station when I arrive in a new town, for the timetables to my next destination. But I had called ahead to make my room reservation and had told them when I was arriving, and the train had been 30 minutes late, so I thought I would just go straight to the hotel and check the times later, in case the hotel was fretting about whether I would show up or not.
The cathedral of St James (Santiago or San Diego, in Espanol).
So my hotel is very cute, very central, I´m here for two nights hoping to go to Porto the second morning. Yesterday I had all of my laundry done so I have a big fat fluffy pile of clean clothes, nothing like that to make a traveller happy. I had a look around town, mailed my postcards, caught up on my emails, then toodled down to the train station to get the schedule to Porto.
Wot. It doesn´t leave till 6:30 pm!! And it doesn´t arrive in Porto till 11 at night! I look at my watch, it´s like 6:10 pm then. Draaaaaattsss!!! Now I have a whole entire day practically to kill in Santiago and I´ve already done this place. If I had checked earlier, I could have left right then. Normally I like the train to leave in the morning, arrive at my next destination around noon, check out the city, and then leave the next day. Now I am wasting a whole entire day here, which could have been spend far more productively on the beach somewhere in southern Spain later on in my trip.