Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Santo Domingo de la Calzada
Finally, sunny enough to see my shadow.
The chickens in the cathedral.
Arrived here about noon, just when the albergue in the Cistercian convent opened and checked in, showered, washed clothes, ate lunch, then bought groceries for tomorrow's breakfast and lunch. The walk was about 13 miles. Looking ahead, I see that there will be a lot of climbing the next few days in order to reach the meseta, the high and relatively flat plains that make up much of the Iberian peninsula.
By the time I got all my chores done, I walked over to the cathedral to see it and the chickens. But it is closed until 5 pm, so I will go back later. There is a long story why a rooster and hen are kept there. Back in the middle ages, an innkeepers daughter tried to seduce a young pilgrim. When he resisted she hid a silver cup in his belongings then said he stole it. He was arrested and hanged. His parents went on to Compostela. On their return, they noticed he was alive but still on the gallows. when they reported it to the local sheriff , he said the boy was no more alive than the cooked hen and rooster on his dinner table, whereupon both the hen and rooster jumped up and moved around. The joyous parents then retrieved the living son and the miracle, of course, attributed to Santiago. Ever since, a hen and rooster are kept caged in the cathedral.