|Cathedral, Santiago de Compostela,|
seen from Hotel Bonaval
And they really want you to know they've done it! Apart from the ubiquitous scallop shells – the symbol of St James – dangling from backpacks, about half tourists in the town are wearing tee-shirts emblazoned with "I made it!" or some such.
But there is more to Santiago than pilgrims. The old city is a wonder with the cathedral as its centrepiece. Surrounding it are a maze of winding cobbled streets of stone buildings. Those that aren't churches or convents are a nice mix of shops, hotels, restaurants, bars. The atmosphere is lively with many outdoor music acts going on into the mild, late-summer night.
I chose a hotel just outside the old town centre. It's another cheap-and-cheerful joint with pleasant staff who were happy to point out some restaurants that are good value for money. They also gave me a free ticket to the Cidade da Cultura, which is an impressive new construction up on a hill, just outside the town. I plan to visit that tomorrow.
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