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Santiago vs Madrid for last day and Pilgrims Mass

cswords

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 2019
Hello, I arrive in Santiago on Friday May 24th in the afternoon and leave home from Madrid on Sunday May 26th in morning. I have a couple of options on how to spend the last days in Spain. My original plans didn't work due to renovations at Cathedral.

Question really comes down to 1) should I spend a second day in Santiago, or Madrid? With the Cathedral closed, it is better to attend Pilgrim mass at Iglesia de Santa Maria Salome or regular mass at Iglesia de San Francisco?

Option 1
Friday - arrive Santiago, sightseeing/overnight in Santiago, attend regular (not pilgrim) mass at Iglesia de San Francisco 7pm.
Saturday - fly to Madrid early Saturday (7am), sight seeing in Madrid
Sunday - fly home early AM

Option 2
Friday - arrive Santiago, sightseeing/overnight in Santiago
Saturday - sightseeing in Santiago all day, attend pilgrims mass at noon at Iglesia de Santa María Salomé, fly to Madrid late Saturday (10pm)
Sunday - fly home early AM

Any advice/guidance much appreciated!!
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Personally, I LOVE Santiago far more than Madrid. I vote for Option 2.

There is the option of a 19:00 Mass on Friday evening at Santa Maria Salome on Rua Nova. You could make this change and have more time to wander on Saturday.

Here is the Cathedral web page all about the temporary transfer of Masses during the renovations.


Hope this helps.
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2016 CF;
Hospitalera, Zamora 2017, Hospitalera Grañón 2018, Hospitalera Estella 2019
I think it depends on you and what you enjoy. I don't enjoy big cities much, but I did stay in Madrid an extra day and go to the Prado on my last visit. My husband, Phil, spent 4 weeks in Santiago going to language school and loved being a part of the vibe. He watched pilgrims arrive each day from his apartment window and enjoyed going to the Plaza to see pilgrims arrive at the cathedral. He also found many interesting cultural things to do in Santiago such as museums and exhibits. I think only you can decide what is right, but there are many interesting things to see and do in both cities.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2009
Welcome to the Forum, @cswords!

I'd vote for option 2. That way you have margin in case you don't arrive in Santiago when you hope to on Friday, and you can still hang out with any Camino friends who will also be in town on Saturday. To give yourself time and space to enjoy Santiago after so many days of walking there will probably be valuable. And leaving on Saturday at 10pm, instead of rushing to Madrid sometime on Sunday, seems like a good plan.

Right now the sun is setting in Santiago at 9:30pm, and at the end of May it will be closer to 10pm. Catching a sunset flight out of SCQ will be pretty nice!

Buen Camino and enjoy all the planning.
Faith
 

cswords

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 2019
Thank you all, Option 2 is it - looking forward to exploring the city after many days walking!

What does everyone think about attending Pilgrim mass (only offered at Iglesia de Santa Maria Salome on Saturday noon), or regular mass instead (various churches/times).

Not sure what the difference is with "pilgrim" mass and if I should work our schedule around attending that one, versus regular mass...
 
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NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Pilgrim's mass usually includes a blessing and a reading out of the Nationalities who arrived in the preceeding 24 hours and from where they started.

I confess to a certain giddiness when they read out una peregrina Canadienses de Somport.

I think I attended 4 services my last time. And I have little Spanish.

There is quite a lot of fun reuniting with pilgrims you haven't seen in a while.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2017, 2018, 2019
I would plan on spending the time in Santiago. You might spend some time with people that you walked with or you might just explore the city, attend mass, and reflect on your Camino. Either way, it's a special feeling. Madrid is a fine city, but it will still be there next time you visit Spain.
 

cswords

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May 2019
Wow, you all are fantastic! I feel kinship to you all already.. and I don't know you nor have I even started on my journey :) I will spend my last day of El Camino in Santiago, and attend Pilgrims Mass on Saturday at noon. Thanks!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Spend some time in Santiago... You WILL be back... Madrid is just another large city that is a national capital. At the end of the day, it is just a city.

But Santiago... ah, Santiago is one of the special cities of the world. Like Jerusalem and Rome, it is the third most popular pilgrimage site among Christians. Other 'holy' places like Lourdes, Fatima, and Medjugorje trail somewhat...

But, and IMHO, Santiago is different. The street paving and the walls of very old buildings retain a 'vibe' from the millions of pilgrims who have come before you. At most all hours of the day, but especially in the very early morning and late at night, there is just something magical about Santiago. If you are very silent, you can feel the history...

The added fact that you can make new friends almost anywhere nust by announcing that you are a fellow pilgrim from 'x' is sometimes all it takes...
 
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