We hiked 18 miles to Longroño on Saturday, where we stayed in a Parrish hostel connected to the Catedral de Santa María de la Redonda. We attended mass there. It was the first time I have ever attended a mass, and I was even asked to participate. I read 2 small parts in English, as other parts were represented by others in their language. Most of the mass was in language I couldn't understand, but it was still pretty special. There was even a "secret passageway" between the Cathedral and the hostel, which we got to use after a communal dinner, to go receive a special pilgrim blessing.
Logroño is actually famous for their wine. It was a pleasure and an awesome opportunity to be able to walk through its vineyards. We even got some samples here and there.
Yesterday, we slept in, then hiked 13 miles to Santo Domingo. We stayed in a hostel run by Cistercian nuns. I was humbled to watch as one of the nuns washed the feet and tended to a mans foot blisters. What amazing service they do in this place run by donation only. I was able to experience a lovely hand scrub that one of the nuns made, and invited me to indulge. I wish I had been able to spend more time observing their service, but instead, I walked through town and took a tour of the cathedral.
There is actually a small chicken coop in this cathedral. As the story goes, a couple and their son were walking the camino and stopped in this town. An innkeepers daughter had her eye on the boy, but when he didn't return her affections, she was angry, and hid a silver goblet in his backpack. When she reported him, the boy was sentenced to hang. The parents continued their way, and after reaching Santiago, returned to the city to find their son alive, still hanging in the gallows. They rushed to the sharifs house to report Gods will to have their son alive. The sherif was sitting down to dinner and replied that their boy was no more alive than the chicken on his plate. Just then, the chicken stood up and crowed. The sherif took it as a sign from God, and rushed to the gallows to free the boy. They keep the chickens in the cathedral as a reminder.
I almost forgot about all the smiling faces we had along the way today!