Tomorrow I commence my journey en El Camino de Santiago. Okay, here is a brief rundown of the legend behind the pilgramage:
After Saint James was beheaded it is said that his remains somehow made it by boat to the modern day area that is called Santiago. I can’t remember exactly where he was beheaded but his remains were put on a boat by angels and the unmanned sailboat brought his self to modern day Santiago and put his self in a tomb. 800 years later a king (whose name has currently slipped my mind. I encourage you to Wikipedia this if you wish to know more.) was hanging out on the beach and a Mary (Jesus´s momma) came to him and then he saw some stars (or bright lights, as my teacher said. Wikipedia says stars) that led him to the tomb of Santiago’s remains. It is said that later on when the Spanish were battling the Muslims, the King prayed to Saint James and he showed up to kill some Moros, and now is also known as Santiago Matamoros. Legend has it if you are sick, poor, needy, or a college student needing credit for Spanish civ, and you make the pilgramage to Santiago and hug a statue of him, you are forgiven and he’ll help you out with what you need. (Seriously, Wikipedia it.) So thanks Santiago for my 3 credits of Spanish Civilization I don’t have to take. The most popular route starts somewhere in France and goes to Santiago, but the route my class is taking is a lot shorter seeing as we only have a week. Here’s some cool maps 🙂
Day One/Tomorrow: We’re leaving Alicante at 8am and driving (12 hours. Yuck) to where we will start walking the next day.
This shows the distance we will cover Tuesday-Saturday. We’re averaging about 25KM a day. The plan is to get up and be walking by 8:30, walk until comida time (2-3ish) and have comida in the city where we are staying the night. After comida we will check into the hostels or albergues (which are free! for pilgrams) and then explore the pueblo and sleep.
And the last day, Sunday November 4th, we will spend the day in Santiago hanging out with Saint James’ remains and stuff and then we will get on the bus and drive back to Alicante around 4pm. The plan is to arrive in Alicante around 7:30am Monday (November 5th) morning. Just in time for my 9am grammar class. Woooopeee 🙂
And if you look to the south middle part of the map you’ll see Granda; which is where I traveled this weekend. It is absolutely beautiful. We visited the Alhambra, where Isabel La Catolica lived. We got to hang out in the room where Christopher Colombus asked for her permission and her money to go discovering. Yay I’m thankful for him. And let me tell you, some Spaniards like to rub it in some Americans face that they “discovered us”. I wanted to be like “Colombus thought he had found India so HA HA” but then I didn’t. I’m pretty happy Christopher didn’t know his geography. Anyways, there’s a huge muslim/arab population and the architecture is lovely and all the natives we met were super nice. I almost studied there but Dr. Thomas insisted the program would have been “too easy”. What a shame. It’s beautiful. I kind of wish I studied there instead. It’s a lot colder but SO pretty.
Vaaaaale. What a long week ahead! I packed my backpack and got everything together so now all I have to do is finish some homework and watch Thursday’s Grey’s Anatomy on Youtube. I might stay up really late so I can sleep on the bus tomorrow. I am not really looking forward to being in a car for 12 hours and the destination not being Disney World. (PS. That reminds me, Sarah I loved your Disney World pictures. It looks like Cole had a blast!)
This is such a long blog! I´ll try to wrap it up! Thank you everyone who has been praying for me! My spanish is getting so much better and the Lord is being so gracious! I can’t remember if I have blogged about the bible study Jasmine and I found yet. We saw a flyer and went to a small group study Monday night which was PHENOMENAL. The guy who led it was from Kenya (PS. I’m obsessed with Kenya.) and there were 2 Spanish girls, 1 french girl and another Spanish guy there. It was great. It was kind of difficult to follow everything in Spanish, so our wonderful Kenyan friend translated most of the conversation for us. It was great, we sat and talked for a good hour and a half or so. It was wonderful. I miss so much meeting with other believers in an atmosphere like that. I’ve been listening to some Vintage 21 sermons the past week or so, and Tyler made a statement about Christianity exploding all over the world except for in the United States and Europe (little background: it was a sermon on money and US and Europe are the wealthiest areas). How sweet to have Europe, US and Africa represented in that group? How sweet is that? I’m not going to lie, being here is so discouraging sometimes. A lot of Spanish tradition is Catholic tradition, without the Jesus. It is so sad to see an entire nation serving tradition. But the few evangelical churches that are in the area (so far I know of 2 in Alicante) have a heart for Christ and they want so bad to see his kingdom grow. That’s pretty fab if you ask me. Our Lord is so big. I want to go off on more tangents about how sweet our Lord is,(there’s crazy mountain landscapes on the way to granada from alicante. I’ve not really seen many mountains in my life. I was amazed. Am. I am still amazed.)but I have some film homework to do and some sleep to get and a shower to take. I miss you guys.