Botafumeiro

March 26, 2015

misa para los peregrinos

misa para los peregrinos

catching sunbeams

catching sunbeams

setting Botafumeiro in motion

setting Botafumeiro in motion

setting in Botafumeiro motion

setting Botafumeiro in motion

catching sunbeams

catching sunbeams

Botafumeiro  is a censer that is swung at special services in Catedral de Santiago in Santiago de Compostela.

It is swung at the special Friday evening mass, and occasionally at other masses too.

I witnessed the occasion at Friday evening mass last week. It takes place at the end of the mass. The censor is lowered, filled with burning charcoal, then with eight men pulling on ropes, it swings into the transepts, almost to the ceiling.

It is quite dramatic when first seen, accompanied by loud organ music.

Each day at midday a special mass for pilgrims.

Saturday midday mass, the censer was swung, as it was at the mass following the midday mass on Sunday.

The clergy in attendance were robed in purple not green. Those pulling the ropes robed in claret.

Friday and Saturday, the censer was stopped. On the Sunday it was allowed to swing and slowly slowly come to a halt.

The description on Wikipedia, like most things on Wikipedia, false. No way was 40kg of charcoal and incense shovelled into the censer. Nor did the swinging censer fill the cathedral with smoke or produce large volumes of smoke. Botafumeiro is normally found suspended at the end of the rope, not kept in the cathedral library.

The Botafumeiro is suspended from a pulley mechanism in the dome in the centre of the cathedral, the entire mechanism flexes as it is swung.

Daffodils

March 25, 2015
daffodils

daffodils

Daffodils.

Aeropuerto de Santiago de Compostela

March 24, 2015
Aeropuerto de Santiago de Compostela

Aeropuerto de Santiago de Compostela

I arrived a week ago at Aeropuerto de Santiago de Compostela, late at night and tired. I took the airport bus which passed through the ugly part of town.

My return to the airport, pressed for time, I took a taxi.

A far more pleasant journey, through open countryside.

Why did I not change my flight, stay longer?

Airport bookshop had interesting best-sellers, books from Paulo Coelho and This Changes Everything / Esto Lo Cambio Todo from Naomi Klein.

best-sellers Paulo Coelho

best-sellers Paulo Coelho

This Changes Everything from Naomi Klein

This Changes Everything from Naomi Klein

Bodeguilla de San Roque

March 23, 2015
tasted as disgusting as it looks

tasted as disgusting as it looks

Bodeguilla de San Roque

Bodeguilla de San Roque

What was described as warm pork with peppers.

In reality thin slices of cold, poor quality ham, with rather disgusting green peppers, plus potatoes.

I ate the potatoes which were quite good, left the disgusting peppers and left about half of the ham.

Not ordered, but served before the main course, a plate of chips with a fried egg on top. This I waved away.

Santiago Apóstol

March 23, 2015
Santiago Apóstol

Santiago Apóstol

Santiago de Compostela, is one of the most important sites in Christianity, and the destination for pilgrims, because within Catedral de Santiago  lies the remains of Santiago Apóstol, the Apostle James, brother of John the Baptist, and follower of Jesus.

Apostle James travelled far, as far as what is now Spain and Portugal. On his return, he was executed by Herod, and his body dismembered. Two of his followers, gathered up his remains, and set sail in an unseaworthy boat. They somehow traversed the Mediterranean, passed through the Straits of Gibraltar, and were shipwrecked in Galicia.

James was entombed, later by his side, his two followers.

Several hundred years later 820 AD, the hermit Pelagius discovered the tombs and conveyed his finds to the Bishop Theodemir. News reached King Alfonso II who ordered a chapel be built, now Catedral de Santiago.

The remains of St James are now in a niche in a casket in a tiny crypt.

Each day at midday a special mass in Catedral de Santiago for pilgrims who have walked El Camino de Santiago.

A Coruña

March 23, 2015
el tren a A Coruña

el tren a A Coruña

My advice on going to A Coruña, don´t.

I was going to a major Picasso exhibition in A Coruña, only not open on Monday.

Having decided to go, I decided to go anyway.

An expensive mistake, a waste of time, a waste of money.

Not knowing where the station was,  and to save time, I got a taxi.

No timetable, half an hour wait in the cold for a train. I was asked what time was I returning. I had no idea, other than sometime in the afternoon. Ticket office gave me a ticket for the last train.

A pleasant train journey, countryside very similar to heathland in south of England, gorse in flower.

At A Coruña, half an hour wait for a bus to the centre on a very busy, polluted junction. No 5 bus. 1.30 euros.

Hopped off the bus, traffic, ugly, cut through and caught the bus back. Same bus.

Live update at bus stops. Not only how long to wait for bus, but map showing where the bus is.

On the bus next stop shown, and announced.

At station unable to get through the barrier, apparently ticket only valid for the last train. Man manning the barriers shouted at me to change the ticket. Luckily was possible to change, at no cost. But what a bloody stupid system. And luckily I had the time, otherwise I would have missed the train.

Had I not known the time of the train, I would not have known what train to catch, as only shown final destination.  Yet another example of bloody stupid system. And expensive. 10.80 euros for return ticket, 6 euros single.

Interesting feature of trains. Seats recline and between the seats, two power points.

No wifi.

Forty-five minutes return as slow stopping train.

From station, walked to old part of Santiago de Compostela. About 15 minutes walk.

Illegal to erect rooftop solar arrays

March 22, 2015

In Galicia, the system used to be, generate your own renewable electricity, instead of selling it to the big energy company, supply them, they supply you, and all you pay for is the difference.

That was the system, it worked. it encouraged the installation of rooftop solar arrays.

That was the system, but it was scrapped. Not only was it scrapped, but the regional government at the behest of the big energy companies who cannot compete with rooftop solar arrays, has made it illegal to install rooftop solar arrays.

Time for Podemos, time for local, community controlled grids. Fair price for suppliers, fair price for consumers. Only the surplus from the local grid would be fed into the national grid.

Local, community controlled grids put local communities in charge, put out of business big grids, big power companies.

Tarta de chocolate en O Paris

March 22, 2015
tarta de chocolate

tarta de chocolate

Excelente tarta de chocolate.

Quality tea, though they had not a clue how to make tea. They allowed me to show them.

They appeared to know how to make coffee, though I did not try.

Almuerzo en Monasterio de San Martín Pinario

March 22, 2015
Refectory

Refectory

vino tinto

vino tinto

The church of the Monasterio de San Martín Pinario is now a museum.

A much larger building facing Catedral de Santiago has its doors wide open, open times displayed, and yet when you walk in, told it is not open to the public.

There is though another entrance.

This leads to a vey impressive hotel, and yet only a one star Pension.

Leading off from the cloisters, the Refectory, now serving food.

  1. caldo Gallego
  2. escalope de cerdo con ensalada
  3. manzano asado

Galican broth (potatoes and vegetables), escalope of pork with salad and chips, with baked apple as dessert.

The broth was a meal in itself. An alternative starter octopus and potatoes, portion size sufficient for a main meal.

Served with bread, a bottle of red wine and  a large bottle of water

Followed by coffee or tea.

Misa para los peregrinos

March 22, 2015
setting Botafumeiro in motion

setting Botafumeiro in motion

setting Botafumeiro in motion

setting Botafumeiro in motion

catching sunbeams

catching sunbeams

Each and every day a special mass in Catedral de Santiago for pilgrims who have walked El Camino de Santiago.

Today Sunday, the cathedral packed, standing room only.

No sooner had the mass  finished, then another mass presided over by the Bishop.

For the midday mass, there was no swinging of the censer or Botafumeiro, but for the mass that followed there was. The difference to the other days, it was allowed to slowly slowly, swing to a halt.


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