We leave Madrid in the morning to resume our normal, but new, life in the U.S. We had such a great experience that we’re already talking about walking another Camino soon, and are debating the pros and cons of the Silver Route from Sevilla and the Portuguese Route starting either in Lisbon or Porto.
After two days and nights in Finisterre, we returned to Santiago for two sunny days. We spent time touring the Cathedral and its museum. There is so much to see and learn about there that I think you could make that your life’s work. We attended mass there again on Sunday and it was completely packed with people in pews, sitting on the floor, and standing. There must have been at least a thousand people there. I was overwhelmed thinking about how many different nationalities were together representing so many different faiths. In the cathedral and in town, we continued to run into pilgrim friends. We had our final dinner there with an Irish couple and a young lady friend from Canada.
We took the overnight train from Santiago to Madrid last night. All the sleeper cars were reserved when we made our reservation, so we had to ride in regular seats. We both agreed that was the hardest part of the Camino! Fortunately, we were able to check in to our hotel when we arrived about 9:00. We went downtown via metro and walking to the home of a friend from our days in Bulgaria. It was great to visit with her and her husband; he was the Spanish ambassador to Bulgaria and their home is here in Madrid. After a much needed siesta, we again took the metro (Walker is great at navigating), this time to The English Connection in a different part of Madrid. The school teaches English primarily to adults and just opened and held its first classes today. The school is owned and directed by one of our Washington and Lee student alumna friends Jenny Lu who graduated in 2005. It was a pleasure and a treat to see what she has accomplished, with a lot of help from her husband Juan. After classes ended the four of us went to dinner and had a nice time catching up.
It’s been a great six weeks, but home is calling. We’re looking forward to seeing family and friends and our dog Sophie. (Will she remember us after being gone six weeks?) We’re also eager to see how the Camino experience will translate back to our life in Lexington and what kind of changes, if any, we will see and feel.