Arrival in Santiago - Vuelta a Iberia - CycleBlaze

September 18, 2019

Arrival in Santiago

Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles . . .  The Fiddler on the Roof

It’s the wrong religion for the place of course, but Motel’s song ran through my mind when we arrived, on schedule and incident-free, in Santiago de Compostela.  It’s a fitting spot to experience a miracle, and we feel blessed to be here.

Our flight from SFO to Dublin pulled away from the terminal right on schedule, but then sat on the tarmac for the next twenty minutes waiting for clearance to depart.  Sitting across the aisle from each other, we looked across at each other gloomily as the minutes ticked by, watching our chances to make the next flight tick by.  We had no reason to worry though - perhaps we had a tailwind, but the flight went a full hour faster than scheduled and we arrived in Dublin forty five minutes early.  No problem.

Arrival in Santiago went smoothly also, except for a minor incident at passport control that Rachael wishes me to embarrass myself by passing on.  There are two lines - a fast one past electronic passport scanners, and a much slower one past a human gatekeeper.   The scanner combines a physical scan of the passport with a photograph and presumably facial recognition software.  Once you’re recognized, the gate opens automatically so you can pass through.  Rachael sailed through this, but after a lengthy wait mine was rejected and I was redirected to the slow line.  

Then, they reconsidered and asked me to try again.  This time took forever also, but finally I was recognized (I must have a problematic or nondescript face).  For some reason (jet lag induced fog is a good candidate), I misunderstood and turned to go back, until I heard Rachael yelling at me that the gate was open.  Hey, dummy - over here!

The flight couldn’t have gone better, really.  Easy connections, easy flights.  Perfect.  None of this erases the impact of jet lag though, which seems to affect me more as time goes on.  I’m quite befogged and a bit nauseated by the time we arrive at our hotel, and would have been fine with just collapsing on the bed.  Rachael’s having none of it though, and yanks me out the door for an exploration of the old city, just a few blocks away.

It’s spectacular, truly.  Even the fog can’t hide that, and we’re both duly impressed.  We walk the streets for an hour or so, looking up in awe and amazement; and then find a nice sidewalk cafe for a light meal before heading back to our rooms.

We’ll be in Santiago for three nights, so we’ll get a better look tomorrow when I’m more awake.

We’re pleased to see that there are bicycles in this part of Spain. We won’t feel out of place
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One of the first things that strikes me about Santiago is the vernacular architecture, with these flat, whitewashed, shuttered structures. Unlike anything we’ve seen elsewhere in Spain.
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Andrea BrownI am always partial to those multi-paned windowed porches, they look like great places to hang out and watch the scene from.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Andrea BrownDon’t they though? Bruce should design one into the back yard unit.
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2 months ago
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I’m also impressed by how clean and well tended the streets seem here.
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I’m pleased too that the plazas have young children scurrying about them. I think we’ll be quite happy here.
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Andrea BrownPortland could use more porticos.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Andrea BrownPortico! I should remember that word. You’re right - Portland would feel like a much different place with more porticos and fewer cars.
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2 months ago
The famous cathedral dominates the old city. When we first saw this tower, Torre de Berenguela, we were amazed and excited by it - most of the following pictures are of this. We soon discovered though that it’s much larger. It’s a huge structure, and this is just one of its cluster of towers.
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I’d like to know the story here, but it doesn’t look good. It looks like he’s being beheaded.
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Plaza do Obradoiro, the large plaza facing the front of the cathedral. We’ll turn around and have a look at it tomorrow.
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Suzanne GibsonGlad to see you safe and sound in Santiago! It's a marvelous, magical place. Janos and I first met on the Camino de Santiago back in 1997 and since then have walked its full length together.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Suzanne GibsonMagical is just the right adjective. What a special place this is. We could spend a long time here.
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2 months ago
Jen GrumbyBienvenidos a Santiago!

We're a little behind .. on our road trip from Denver to Portland. Spent a night at the Hugens house in Boise and now with friends in Prineville.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyGracias, amiga! You are a bit behind alright - I thought you’d be in Portland by now. How long are you staying around this time?
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2 months ago
Jen GrumbyWe'll be in Portland until 10/8. Looking forward to some down time to catch up on your journal.
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