Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 25 - St. James Day

Crowds at the Praza do Obradoiro
The festivities began last night. A few friends and I decided to meet at 11:00pm since the “show” would start around 11:30 or so. Boy was that a mistake. We should have met up at 9:00pm to even think about getting a spot in the Praza do Obradoiro! We barely made it to the edge of the plaza but it wasn’t going to do us any good to be there since we would not be able to see the show. So we decided to walk up to the Alameda which offers an incredible view of the Cathedral from a higher elevation. We were of course not the only ones with this idea, and although the view was slightly obstructed it was better than what we had when we were down by the plaza and we were able to catch the show.

Obstructed view!!!
What exactly was the show? It consisted of a series of projections against the facade of the Cathedral. I believe that it was showing the history of the construction of the Cathedral throughout the centuries. There was even one very dramatic scene in which the Cathedral was burned down as a representation of what happened in 977 when the Muslim army raided and destroyed the building. This impressive projection show was followed by an elaborate fireworks display in which the fireworks were shot directly from the Cathedral itself, as well as the nearby Hostal Dos Reis Catolicos (More like a five star hotel!).

More crowds!
It was quite an elaborate show and it appeared as though the whole of Santiago came out to enjoy it. After the fireworks there was a concert near the Cathedral which we went over and checked out. A couple of the ladies stayed to hear the music but I and one other decided to head home since it was already after 1:00am. I am glad that I don’t live near the Cathedral as I’m sure not even my “tapones” or earplugs would have blocked out all of that noise! But I’m glad that I went so that I could see what it was all about.

This morning I took my time getting up and then headed to the Cathedral to see what there was to see. Apparently the king of Spain was attending mass and there were barriers preventing the passage of pedestrians from one side of the plaza to the other (well… not completely, there was a small section to pass through). I waited there with my camera ready but by noon mass had not ended and I was supposed to meet the ladies to see what there was to see. I had to leave the plaza.

When we returned they would not let me into the plaza with my backpack (the small orange one that serves as my purse), so I brought it home and switched to a smaller bag, but by the time I got back I had missed him. So there it is, my almost seeing a king story. Pretty lame, sorry.

As for what else there was to see, there was a carnival in the Alameda which had rides and games for people of all ages as well as lots of food and other things to buy. There was also a protest going on and lots of people out and about. Since it was a holiday the only people working were the people in the restaurants and the tourist shops around the Cathedral, but many people were in the different parks just enjoying the incredibly hot (but no complaints!) day – something we took advantage of as well. All in all it seemed like a pretty relaxing day to me, but who knows maybe there’s more to it that I missed. I would be interested to know, but wouldn’t necessarily trade my experience for it.

In the park
Fairly alarming... a sort of mechanical bull ride for children.
There were only young girls riding and they were trying to
get them to ride one handed...

1 comment:

  1. Hahaha!! You missed a king cuz of your purse!! That is the best story ever :) toooliooo