Spent the day relaxing and walking around the town. It must be difficult to live in a town like this. For centuries it has been the “tourist” town it is now – with pilgrims showing up daily and overtaking the bars, restaurants, etc. while shops cater to their need for souvenirs of their walk. But it is a beautiful town, with a university nearby giving it a youthful energy, while the old streets exude charm. There is a park nearby with lovely fountains and paths, and even my hotel has a wonderful courtyard to enjoy. There are tourists who never walked the Camino, along with pilgrims that keep arriving. Several times you encounter them meeting up with long lost friends that they met along the path that they now see again at the destination. The joy and emotions run high.
Attended the evening pilgrim mass with the incense burner I mentioned yesterday. Arrived at the cathedral thirty minutes early to encounter incredibly long lines to get into the mass! Seeing the lines, I doubted I would make it in, but the cathedral is massive enough that somehow there was room for me! The mass was in Spanish, but the surroundings, and seeing the swinging of the incense was worthwhile. So many people with so many reasons for being there. And more coming into town every minute. Quite incredible.
At a transition time in my journey. Finished the Camino and moving on to Paris, which will of course be a very different experience. How to best handle transitions? As William Bridges writes in his classic book on transitions, it is important to have a neutral time to acknowledge the ending and begin to prepare for the new beginning. Today was a good neutral day.