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City: Rancho Palos Verdes
Begins: Mar 27, 2016
Date: Sun, Mar 27th, 2016
Entry Visits: 764
Journal Visits: 14,557
Guestbook Views: 173
Guestbook Entrys: 18
Despite the chaos that American Airlines caused earlier in the year when they cancelled their only flight from the US to Lisbon, the revised itinerary they gave me worked ok although it ended up to be three flights, LA to Miami to Madrid to Lisbon, and quite a bit longer. The second flight, in which my cabin seemed to be full of Spaniards returning home, was a couple of hours late and this eliminated my hope of getting the one and only earlier flight to Lisbon. So I had a four-hour layover in Madrid to kill. I managed to find a place to shower and with Wi-Fi researched how to get from the airport into central Lisbon. There were a couple of alternates and I decided to give the Metro a try. The ticket machines were a real challenge as there were no instructions in English on any of them. Fortunately I found a small ticket office and the guy was really helpful and showed me the transfer I needed to get as close as possible to the cathedral. After that it was pretty easy.
I got off at Rossio, although it was confusingly also called Restauradores. When I surfaced from the underground, I understood why - there were restaurants galore. Everywhere was packed with tourists and not my cup of tea at all. On the way to the cathedral I went past a number of large statues and took a few pictures that I have included. Sorry about the flippant descriptions, needed I'm afraid because I didn't spend any time trying to figure out what they were about or who they were dedicated to. All I recall is there were lots of dates starting with 16. I needed to get to the cathedral because wanted to get a new set of Camino credentials but unfortunately the kiosk was closed when I got there. So I just decided to use the credentials I had last year and hope the powers that be in Santiago don't disqualify it.
I found one of the hostels that the guide book identified and despite the large crowds of tourists I was able to get a bed. It is very close to the cathedral and pretty much on the Camino path. I soon met four other hikers, two from France and two from the UK, and we had a nice chat. I did go wandering around the city before it got dark. I wanted to see the castle but after slogging up quite a steep hill all I found was a long line just to buy tickets. Instead I went down to the River Tagus to see the harbor. Quite pretty, but still crowded.
Back at the hostel I took advantage of their happy hour in the bar but opted out of the evening meal. After four airline meals I was really feeling overstuffed. So when the food showed up I retreated to the lounge to write the journal. It'll be interesting tomorrow once I get away from the city to see how many opportunities there are to get a bed for the night. There are nowhere near as many places in the guidebook as I saw last year on the Camino Frances. Part of the excitement of something new I guess. I plan an early night but prospects for sleeping aren't looking too good as I'm now feeling wide awake despite the lack of sleep. I'm hoping to get an early start tomorrow but I'm staying flexible.
Camino De Santiago - Part Deux
The Camino de Santiago is the name of any of the pilgrimage routes to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. Many take up this route as a form of spiritual path or retreat, for their spiritual growth.
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