Sunday, November 3, 2013

Day 44 (11/1) - Santiago

Nice to sleep in and enjoy a relaxing morning. Went to the cathedral shortly after 10am even though the pilgrims' mass isn't until 11:30. Today is All Saints Day and a big deal at the cathedral. The archbishop and other "bigshots" are attending and officiating the mass and they will be swinging the botafumeiro! That's a large silver incense burner that they swing back and forth across the nave -- it weighs 70 pounds or so and it takes 8 guys to manage the rope and swing it. We had front row seats and it was swinging past and over our heads and almost to the top of the nave. This tradition is 300+ years old and must have been very impressive to those old time pilgrims. Now they only do it 13 times a year unless someone (e.g. tour group) makes a significant donation. We were so fortunate to see this and lucky to have great "seats". The mass was interesting and I imagine much more elaborate than normal due to the holiday and the fact that the archbishop was officiating. Afterwards, we had lunch and relaxed and then out for dinner. The seafood is awesome in Santiago and the restaurants lively.

The burner would swing almost over our head and up near the top of the nave.

You can see the team of guys working the rope to swing the incense burner high in the air.

The archbishop.

Above and below - two different preparations of small squid - chiparones. One of our favorites and delicious with a bit of lemon and mayonnaise.

Mussels are good here. These are "picante".

These clams are called navajas (translates as "knives") and must be why we call our northwest surf clams "razor clams" as that's how they appear on English menus here. These are shaped like the old fashioned straight razors. Haven't had them yet but definitely on our "to eat" list.

Pulpo - octopus.

Local cheeses called "tetillas" - guess what that means. :)

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