Kaspars’s diary of the adventure completed in spring 2013. Translated by Una.
It is April 21. We didn’t set up the alarm previous night, so we wake up at 10’o clock. For the breakfast we eat everything what is left from the day before – the snacks bought in Latvia. We drink coffee and tea available in the apartment.
We look out of the windows. Looks like it’s cloudy outside. But who knows, it might not be true, because we don’t see much of the sky from our windows. It’s the opposite house, that we see. At about 12’o clock, when we go out, we see that actually it is a sunny and warm spring day.
First things first! We want to get pilgrims passports. Without one you can’t collect stamps from every place. You also can’t stay in government hostels, made only for pilgrims (they call them aubergues). And without stamps at the end you can’t get Pilgrimage Certificate.
The day before we left for Spain we checked on the Internet, and yes, there are churches where people can get the pilgrims passports even in center of Madrid, where we are staying! Though, Camino de Santiago is not going through Madrid.
When going out everyone dresses differently. I’m hoping that it is warm enough and wear shorts and flip-flops. I put a jacket over the T-shirt, just in case. We go out and see how beautiful are our surroundings! Almost everything is green now – the grass is green, almost all trees are full of leaves – and even some trees and flowers are in bloom. And weather is nice – very warm and sunny spring day. And after a while we understand that I am the one who is dressed properly.
We walk for an hour, looking around, taking photos, wandering around a bit. We find the first church, where we might get pilgrims passports. O.K., let’s go inside! What a spacious building is this church, and full of people! I spot the priest and go to ask him if here we can get Camino de Santiago pilgrims passports.
I great him and decide that I should try to use these few Spanish words I know: Camino de Santiago, pasporte, peregrino. But the man speaks English and he tells me that here we can’t get these passports. We should go to another church, which is only a couple of streets further.
We find the right church easily. But the doors are closed – now it’s the time of the service. But we enter the church anyway, because we see that other people do the same. We go inside and wait at the back, near the entrance. We come in a good time, though. After a couple of minutes service is finished and most of the people leave.
Again I take the initiative and go and ask for the information. This time I approach and old lady who is blowing off the candles. This time I need to use my poor Spanish skills because the lady doesn’t speak English. I try to ask her if here we can get Camino de Santiago pilgrims passports. Looks like she understands and she shows us that we need to go inside that room.
There is a priest and another lady in the room, talking. We wait in the room for a minute and then the “first lady” comes inside, invites us to join her at the table and asks for our passports. She takes five pilgrims’ passports from her drawer and starts to fill them in, asking all of us few extra questions.
In the end we see that there are few mistakes, like, my hometown is Riga Passport Office instead of Riga and my last name is Missins instead of Misins. But these are not significant things, the most important thing is that we have our pilgrims passports now, yaay! We thank the lady: “Gracias!”, and we go out.
There we look at our pilgrims passports once more and we see that on the back of it is a map of Camino de Santiago which shows all the biggest towns and villages on the way.
The next thing is – we need to buy some food to prepare later in the evening, before going to Rammstein concert. We decide to buy all the food in the supermarket closer to our apartment. So we ignore all the shops on our way and just walk and enjoy the sunshine. But when we arrive at our supermarket we see that unfortunately it is closed on Sundays (as most of the supermarkets). So, we need to search for the place that is open! After one hour of walking we find such a place.
We know how to get to concert arena only approximately, so we leave for the concert early. We walk for some time and two and a half hours before the start of the concert (actually 3,5 hours before Rammstein) we are at the arena.
My brother was hoping to get as close to the stage as possible, but when we arrive at the arena, his hopes disappear. Because there already are few queues each few hundred meters long. So, the three of us (I, my brother Viesturs and Edgars) will be standing together someplace, apparently quite far away from the stage. But for my mum and Una it’s easier – they have the seats.
The queues we saw when we arrived to the arena are nothing compared to what they were later – going for hundreds and hundreds of meters around the blocks, down the streets… So much people!
As it looks, we arrived just at the right time. Especially because in the end the three of us end up almost directly in front of the stage, in the second or third row, perhaps. It’s incredible! But not in the middle, though. But nevertheless, the place is very good.
Both Rammstein and the warm-up band (a DJ) start on time. Do we like the warm-up DJ? Well, I will use his words: “F*** that DJ! We want Rammstein!” (and he asked the audience to shout it with him). How about Rammstein? They are, were and will be amazing! They perform for 2 hours, very short 2 hours indeed. The concert starts and there is a feeling that it ends so quickly. Yes, it is always like this, the times passes very quickly when you are so super-excited.
Before we heard that Spanish people in the concerts act like crazy. Well, we don’t see much crazy people at all. Except those two guys who were jumping with me and Viesturs, ha. They were crazy, yes. We two went crazy, too. Haha. It was good. It was very good. It was awesome!
When going home from the concert we with Edgars decide that despite aching legs and feet we will go for a run the next morning. As I didn’t take my running shoes with me I am considering to run barefoot. And Edgars says that he will run barefoot as well, despite having his running shoes with him. During our walk home we see that the asphalt here is very good quality and smooth, so running without shoes would not be a problem.
But let’s see, if we will wake up for the run!
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Author: Una Baufala
Una is a traveler and travel blogger from Latvia. Apart from traveling and exploring new places she loves to read books. And she adores cats. Together with Kaspars they have been traveling – volunteering – working abroad since October 2013. WeAreFromLatvia.com is where she shares her travel experiences.