Views from Astorga Spain

By: Ken Brown
Published: 9/13/2015

From Leon to Astorga on the Camino de Santiago

We visited Leon, Spain yesterday and then we walked 35Km today. Leon was wonderful. Today we walked in rain for the first time. We went 35 KM yesterday for no other reason than we could.

The days are passing rapidly. We only have 11 days of walking left if we stay healthy. We entered Leon expecting to rent a taxi at the gates. Then go to the hotel we had reserved. Freshen up and go see the Cathedral. It didn't end up working that way at all.

We walked to the Cathedral. We decided we needed something to eat. My coworker, Bill, asked us to see his friends who owned a restaurant. So we used Google maps and the nice lady on the phone directed us to the restaurant, LA Palomo. We had an excellent meal of trout and beans. Wonderful!

Then we went to see San Isidoro church. Then we walked the 2 KM to the 5 star hotel we decided to stay at in Leon. After freshening up we went back to do a tour of the Cathedral.I think I liked this Cathedral most of all. It had a cohesiveness the others don't have. Burgos Cathedral was amazing, but they had added on too many chapels.

The high stained glass windows let light into the church. They were very beautiful. We went to Mass at San Isidoro. The priest was very personable.

The hotel we stayed in was a former monastery called St Mark's. They converted into a wonderful hotel. Mary and I had a long size bed, clean sheets, and a private bath. A little bit of heaven. It was also at the edge of town so we didn't have to get up as early. The hotel, El Parador, also served a buffet breakfast worthy of a cruise ship.

Inspired by a great night's sleep, we then walked 35 km the next day. Mary was moving well and there weren't many challenging hills. We ended up in a city named Hospital de Birga which had a fantastic bridge over the river. These cities have created these wonderful and beautiful cobblestone streets, but the poor Pilgrims on the Camino can't walk on them because our feet hurt from blisters and stone bruises. We try to find the flattest section.

Today we targeted Astorga only 15 KM. They have a Cathedral but it was closed in the afternoon. There was also a Gaudi museum, but that was closed by the time we reached the city. It is Sunday so we understand. Astorga is the chocolate capitol of the region. So we went to buy a bar of chocolate. We pointed to this dark chocolate that was marked as cecina. We asked what it meant and she said beef

Maybe bacon wrapped in chocolate? We opted for nuts and chocolate.

Before we arrived in Astorga we went to church. Very nice inside and very modern looking. After mass we spoke with a young lady that told us the painter was a local artist that also did the sculpture we saw before reaching the village. The altar had paintings of the birth of Christ to his ascension into heaven. They had modernized the interior but kept the historic Bell tower.

About a mile outside of Astorga we experienced our first real rain while walking. We put on the rain shield for the back pack and our rain jackets. It only lasted for a couple of hours. We expect more rain in the coming days.


Tags: Camino

Categories: Camino



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