Male Cats Giving Birth under a Field of Stars

So the cathedral of Compostela de Santiago is at the end of the great pilgrimages leading across Spain to Galicia, the little knobby bit north of Portugal. 

It’s insanely beautiful.  Whatever you’ve heard…not enough. They just finished a six year renovation of the facade, removing centuries of lichen, moss, pollution and other crud and it is spectacular. 


We did not see the botofumaria (senser), that giant 180 lb thurible, in action.  For any non-Episcopalian/Catholics out there, a thurible is… well… have you heard the joke about the drag queen attending mass where the priest, in full robes, is swinging the incense and she quips “Love the dress, Mary, but your purse is on fire”?

Yeah.  The purse is the thurible. 


Okay, so, I don’t know how much incense they must shove into that swinging silver barbecue but holy cow it it something to behold.  It was set up when we got there so apparently someone(s) had donated the requisite €400 to fling that bad boy into action. 

I, however, cannot handle the two bricks going into St. Stephen’s merry little handbag at Christmas and Easter, no freaking WAY was I sticking around for the Bonfire of the Pilgrimage. 

That and the service didn’t start until 6. We were booking it back to the ship at 5:30 and I wasn’t looking to swim to The Azores. 

On the hour and a quarter drive each way to St. James’ cathedral the guide did a better than average job of filling us in on the history, customs, and oddities of the region.  The usual stuff… “We arrrrre the THIRD larrrrgest proh-ducerrr of mussels in the worrrrrrld…”

Oh, are you?  Lovely.

“We have a larrrrrrge estuaaaarrrrry (wot?  Oh, estuary.) wherrre ourrrr rrrrivaire meets the ocean.”

Ah.  Very nice.

“We rrrrrrequirrrre all ourrrrr childrrrren to take bagpipe lessons…”


She grew two inches in height and I couldn’t even see the woman.   Apparently my reaction was not uncommon.  Every flippin’ school child has to squeeze the shit outta a bladder creating a sound not unlike a male cat giving birth through his…never mind. 

Talk about incentive for living far, far, faaaaaar away from town.  Why, oh, why would ANYONE live in apartments?  I’d kill myself. 

So I gather the celts brought the bagpipes with them when they arrived, and the Galicians are so proud of their heritage they put up with the kids massacring the bagpipes each year. 


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