Day 19 – León – Rest Day
It was a cool morning with grey clouds and some light drizzle that made the cobblestone streets slick. Keith and I started with breakfast in a nice café by the Cathedral. We sat in the warmth of the café by the window and watched the Leónese move about town in the morning light. The café con leche was marvelous and the croissants a little bit of heaven. We sat and chatted a while. A pleasant morning indeed.
As we sat there, four postal workers came in pulling their mail trolleys behind them. They stood by the bar and ordered cafes and a shot of some sort to warm up. This isn’t that uncommon in Spain from what I can see – I’ve even saw a police officer have a beer on his lunch break in one town. You would never see that in Canada, well, not without a huge uproar. But here, in Spain, it doesn’t seem to be an issue. People tend to drink very responsibly here. They may have one drink or perhaps two, but then go on with their day.
Eventually, Keith and I left the café and headed out in search of a bank machine. We quickly found our little pots of gold and then headed back to the pensione to rest up and to finish up some correspondence before lunch.
Danny was expected to reach León at midday, and Keith and I had arranged to meet her, Peter, and Morag by the Cathedral at noon. There were greetings and hugs all around. We all went to visit the Cathedral, and I have to say it was an amazing experience. It is magnificent. While the Burgos cathedral was a stunning experience, the León cathedral somehow seemed more… well, grounded. The Burgos Cathedral has a bit of a touristy feel to it that the León does not seem to have. I loved the Burgos Cathedral, but I felt something more here. It was a deeply emotional experience, but perhaps too overwhelming. I still haven’t processed all that I saw and felt.
Afterward, we headed out in the rain to see the León parador. Along the way we found a lovely calligraphy shop. The gentleman who runs it – Antonio Suarez Gordon – was very nice and he produced beautiful work. I chatted with him for a few moments and was offered some vellum samples for Sandy, as well as his card and picture. Sandy would love this place!
We were a bit tired by the time we hit the plaza where the parador is located, so we sat by a statue of a pilgrim for a few minutes and took some photos. Then we dropped into the parador itself to have a look around. Nice! I have high hopes now for the parador Sandy and I are going to in Jaen.
One the way back to the city centre, we separated with plans to meet again for dinner. Keith, Danny and I met Mette. We all stopped for some bocadillos, cerveza, and infusion de menta in the bar that Keith had discovered yesterday. I talked with Mette and caught up on her travels, and then we parted until supper.
Finally more rest, and then packing and preparing for tomorrow’s walking. I am so looking forward to walking again. My mind and body seem to need the walk. I’ll see how far I can go, I won’t push it.
For dinner we visited the same place as last night. It is a nice, little place with decent food and nice wine. There were a lot of us tonight, and a good three quarters of us were German. The mood was bright and once we filled our bellies, we streamed out into the shiny, wet León streets in search of our beds.
Soundscape: Bells of Leon