Monday, June 6, 2011

Miracles do happen...You just have to believe

Sarria! I certainly did not believe that I would live to limp my way this far. With only 21 km between Triacastela and Sarria, we left our albergue around 7:30 am in hopes of arriving fairly early in the day. The road was pretty flat, our knees welcomed this break since many of us were injured due to the harsh terrains. On the way to Sarria, I was fortunate to see inside the Monastery of Samos before it closed for the day. It was beautiful (as you can see below) but the stairs leading up to it did a number on my knees. The monastary was everything I imagined it would be with high ceilings and intricate details. I would have liked to stay a bit longer and take pictures but there a monk was waiting to escort people out. With about 10 km left before we arrived at our destination, Gabrielle and I limped on.

After walking along a seemingly endless road, I finally arrived in Sarria and toured the town with my group after a brief nap. The first stop was the Iglesia de San Salvador. The church was built in the 11th century and has an early gothic style evloving from Romanesque architecture. Above the entrance of the side door was a figure with his palms up facing out and his hands are supposedly blessing everyone that passes by. From the church you could see the only tower that remains of the medieval fortress belonging to the town. Next we climbed a short hill which brought us to the Monasterio de Magdalena.

This monastery was founded in the 13th century as a pilgrim hospital by Italian Monks of the Blessed Martyrs of Jesus. Presently, the building houses a small cloister and is a private school. Fortunately for us, there was a strapping young lad who was willing to let our group tour the building, of course that was after he corrected my Spanish. After the tour and our daily reflection ended, half of the group headed to La Iglesia de Santa Marina to have their credenciales stamped. Soon after we all met for dinner at ¨ O Meson das Tapas¨ and enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal. Dr. Gyug ordered octupus for our table which was not as bad as I imagined, really chewy.

There was a fellow peregrino at the table across from us eating alone on his birthday. The waitress asked us to sing Happy Birthday to him when she brought out his desert. So that is exactly what we did, in English of course, what did you expect, Spanish? Monsieur Francois, who is half French and part Trinidadian and Tobago, joined our table for the rest of his dinner. On our way back to the hostal we saw a lot of the people we had met over the course of our trip. It was always a pleasure to encounter people who understood how much of a struggle it was to reach each destination, but they were always genuinely excited to see that WE ALL MADE IT, AGAIN.

No pain, No glory!


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