Santiago de Compostela - Part 3 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Whether Catholic or not, the Pilgrim Mass at the cathedral, particularly the swinging of the botafumeiro which is a giant incense burner is a must. They only promise to do this at Friday’s 7. 30pm mass when it cleanses the air and your soul. After the service you can celebrate your purified soul at Santiago’s only Michelin starred restaurant which is the Casa Marcelo just across Praza do Obradoiro.
The climate in this part of the world is cool and wet most of the time. Even in expect rain in the summer, when on average, it only rains around five days a month instead of 13. So one essential part of any visit here is a light weight rain cover and an umbrella is also useful. The average temperature is 8ºC in winter and 19ºC in summer.
Getting home at the end of your trip is easy as Santiago Airport is around 16km north east of town. Ryanair offers direct flights to and from London Stansted every day except Thursday and Saturday. Flight time is around two hours; returns are from £40 plus tax but do check all the extras before booking. Iberia also run daily flights there to/from the UK via its hub in Madrid so this is worth checking.
The cheapest way to get to the airport is to take the airport bus, which leaves every 30 minutes between 6am and midnight from Plaza de Galicia and costs from €4 one way. Allow one hour for traffic. Taxis are available, usually for a fixed price from hotels of around €25.
You can also leave or arrive by train which connects Santiago with the rest of Europe. There are direct trains to Madrid and Sarria. The latter is important as it lets you start the minimum 100km walk along the Camino, so as to qualify for a pilgrimage certificate.
What should you do after the walk? Well if you’re not heading home, after a day or two in Santiago de Compostela, with ample museums and tapas bars to feed your mind and body respectively, your newly refreshed feet will likely be wanting to start walking again. If you’ve time, there is really only one option: the Finisterre Way. This is another ancient pilgrimage route and a natural extension to the Camino de Santiago. It leads you to what was once believed to be the end of the world, hence the name. It’s a total distance of 89km, which can be done in three big days, though four is recommended. You continue to follow the shell symbols of the Camino out of town to head to the port at Finisterre, and then on to the lighthouse. There’s also an option to continue north to Muxía, which is the actual westernmost point and thus the true ‘end of the world’. This is a further 29km on and from there you can take a bus back to Santiago twice daily for €7.
Enjoy your trip.
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