It’s just about noon here and I’ve really got zero plans for leaving this beautiful hotel today. I had breakfast this morning. The hotel provides all the meals included in your room cost, and this ain’t a cheap place so you better take advantage of this! So, I did. It was a buffet type breakfast and was good. I haven’t really had a full breakfast since I’ve been here, so it was really nice to feel full in the morning for once.
All I really plan to do today is to sit here and read, write, and relax. There’s a giant soaker tub in the room and that has been so nice. My feet and knees are happy just to not be walking for a second day in a row. I’m hoping if I can give them a good long rest today, they’ll be able to hoof me around Madrid a bit on Monday so I can see the Prado before I leave. But, if they hurt too much, I’ll just keep on relaxing. It’s not a hardship, that’s for sure.
The news from Paris is really bad. What was unclear last night has become more clear in the daylight. The television is full of reports of the terrorist attack and France has closed its borders. I knew of at least one pilgrim who was trying to get to Paris yesterday to attend a wedding there that was to take place today. I have no idea if she even was able to get in, and I certainly wouldn’t have any idea if the wedding went on as planned today. It would be awfully difficult to celebrate anything in Paris today. Everything in Paris is closed. The big thing on the news is they keep announcing that Disneyland Paris is closed. I don’t know when France will re-open its borders, but certainly not today, which strands some pilgrims who are waiting to begin their Camino in St. Jean and those who were going to be taking the train Eastward from Spain are also waiting it out. Nobody seems in any hurry to leave Spain for France, though. There is a big banner up on the plaza across from the church here in Santiago that says “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite”. So far, no terrorist group has claimed responsibility, but the sites of the attacks have been named. It seems there were six different locations around the city and it was clearly a coordinated attack.
It’s a nightmare and the atmosphere here has certainly changed. People are concerned and, at breakfast, a group of the waiters were huddled around the newsstand reading the headlines of the major Spanish papers about the attacks. Everyone is a bit on edge. Security is already amping up. Even without leaving the hotel, I can tell that there are more measures in place from the news. I am trying to leave Santiago tomorrow by train to get to Madrid so I can fly home on Tuesday. I’m expecting to go through much more security than I’ve had to go through here up until now, which was basically zero.
I can really only watch so much of the news. They know more than they knew last night, but it is still very much a developing story and so they end up replaying segments of things. I found a channel that is showing Game of Thrones in Spanish with English subtitles, so that’s been something different. I’m sort of able to follow along.