Leon, like many other large cities along the Camino, is characterized by waves of peregrino population wandering in the city center in search of a restaurant offering freshly cooked dinner at decent hours, and waves of local citizens who fill out the streets and bars, at the time when exhausted peregrinos are ready to go to sleep. In a way it seems really a tidal wave at alternate hours: when pilgrims start arriving in the city, everyone else is nowhere to be seen, perhaps taking their siestas in some unknown places and when the hungry visitors are in the lookout for something to eat at so called standard times, most bars and restaurants are closed or serving only fast food including the ubiquitous hamburger menu. Eventually the pilgrims in small groups resort to buy a loaf of bread and return to their Albergue to prepare some bocadillos. All of a sudden at about 8pm, the tapas crowds emerge from their hideouts and fill up all the street bars for wine or beer. Dinner in regular restaurants is normally served after 9pm, making almost impossible for the Camino travellers to skip for once the menu dinner for savouring some of the local specialties.
The fascinating aspects of this city are still in the monumental and cospicuous medieval buildings, of which the amazing Cathedral is the most prominent. No picture is able to render justice to such architectural and spiritual marvel. Most pictures I took are with in the other camera and will be posted after I am back as require downloading and some editing.
Again the guided visit was the keynote activity of the day, besides the endless quest for a warm vegetable soup, eventually found in a small quaint place.
Another quite amazing building in Leon is the Parador San Marco, where a key scene of the movie “The Way” was shot. This is a euro 300 per night type of hotel, and it magnificent interior is grandiose but somewhat intimidating.
Instead the hotel booked by Lynette,through booking.com, the Hotel Real Collegiata, was indeed a pleasant surprise, being brand new but hosted in the millenary cloister of the Monastery of St. Isidoro. For euro 38 per night, you can have a superior accommodation in an historical building perfectly restored and furnished with all the amenities.
Tomorrow we start the last part of the journey, in good spirit and renewed determination. To help the determination facing lower temperarures as we proceed westward, today I also invested in a thermal fleece at a cost of euro 9.90. Now I should have all what I need to complete the journey until the mighty Atlantic.