Thoughts and impressions of Santiago de Compostela

My initial thoughts, on arriving late at night, ugly, as that was the journey  from the airport.

But wandering around late at night in the old city I changed my mind.

More walking the streets today, even though closed.

I looked in Hotel Costa Vella where I would have stayed were it not closed for renovation. I had a chat with the architect.

Very cold on the streets even in the sun, and yet people are sitting outside.

it is easy to see why. Dire inside with TVs.

Even colder at night.

Luckily no rain.

Excellent soup en Restaurante Los Sobrinos del Padre, followed by tortella at Milonga´s .

Wandering around, the people are not very friendly. There are a lot of rough looking beggars on the streets, looking the worse for wear.

Monasterio de San Martín, now a museum, is a very impressive church and illustrates the wealth of the monasteries.

It is usual to see a wine shop, racks of wine. Far less usual to see similar selling bottles of beer.

Paradores de Hostales de Los Reyes Catolicos  was built for the poor and infirm, now a Parador.

In the evening and at night more people on the streets than during the day.

Friday evening a special mass in Catedral de Santiago where they swing the censor. Each day at midday, a special mass for the pilgrims who have walked El Camino de Santiago.

In contrast to Puerto de la Cruz, where spolit for choice to eat, Santiago de Compostela is not good for eating out, though there are exceptions.

Gambas a la plancha in Restaurante Los Sobrinos del Padre, where I had previously had soup, was not good, very salty.

Hamburger in A-Vaca, is the place to avoid. Not cooked, tasted disgusting, raw inside dripping blood, no apologies, and to add insult to injury, overcharged.

By contrast, O Paris pleasant ambience and staff, excellent soup and cake.

Several bookshops. In one bookshop the books in Galician only. The Cathedral book shop has a good selection, a second bookshop near Office for Pilgrims.  San Pablo Librería a wonderful bookshop. Emphasis on religion, El Camino de Santiago, Santiago de Compostela, the region, Catedral de Santiago. A large selection of books by Paulo Coelho, including a window display.

But not only San Pablo Librería, the cathedral shop and the pilgrims shop, also had Paulo Coelho books.

Further down the street, another bookshop, with interesting books to read in the window display, Paulo Coelho, Naomi Klein, like bookshops used to be, books you may wish to read, not hyped celebrity crap.

Alameda is a park, a wooded hillside,  tree-lined avenues, with views across to open countryside. More like England than Spain, with daffodils. The park even has a bandstand.

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