Saturday, 20 February 2010

The First Test

In the place where Pelayo saw a rainfall of stars, a city was born between the Tambre and Ulla rivers.

In the middle of this town, an old worksite was transformed into a public square, and in the middle of this square there is a mark on the ground.

The image of this mark is the first test.

The image you can see above is of a carved stone slab which is situated in the middle of the Palazzo del Obradoiro on the west side of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela and marks the arrival point for weary pilgrims who have finally completed their journey on the Camino de Santiago... The Way of St James the Apostle...

Having completed this journey during the previous year, it was not difficult for me to solve the first test of the Enigma, but it was somehow strange to arrive this time without pain and wearing fresh clothes. It was pouring down with rain on January 21st and I spent time walking around the Cathedral and thinking about my father, who's birthday it was.

Given that 2010 is a holy year "Xacobeo" on the Camino, filled with celebrations, the East Door of the Cathedral, "The Portal of Forgiveness", which normaly locked - early it was walled in - was open, and I made sure of taking this reare oportunity to walk through the famous Arch. Tired as I was following the early start and flight from Vienna via Palma, I decided to head for the Albergue and rest. 

Being out of season, I was out of luck, as the Albergue in which I had stayed last year, turned out to be closed for renovations, so they kindly told me that I needed to walk some 5 to 8 kilometers out of town to one of the few hostels which had remained open. 

Still pouring down with rain, I headed off into the night and arrived just in time before they were closing the doors for the night. Exhausted but happy to be making the journey, and happy to have solved test one, I fell asleep very quickly...

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