Leon is the last of the big cities before Santiago de Compostela. It was a nice walk from Mansilla de las Mulas. There is an alternate route that takes you on an ancient Roman road, which I kind of regretted not doing, until meeting the folks who had and their description of a long and desolate trail with no stops along the way and wobbly footing.

On the approach to Leon, I picked a thistle as a souvenir. I have seen them growing along the Camino since St Jean. It reminded me of Scotland, which reminded me of my good friend Doug Mowat. Doug entered his Santiago ahead of the rest of us, and I expect he will be there cheering us on as we reach that longed for destination. I remember talking about the things we would do in retirement. I am not sure if the Camino came up but I suspect Doug would have chosen the cycling route. Doug, today was for you!

Leon is a beautiful city and seems more compact than Burgos and more elegant than Logroño, but just as lively as Pamplona. Lisa and I visited the Cathedral which is a masterpiece. Surprisingly, when it was built, the population of the pueblo was about 5000 souls. Later we visited the museum at the Casa Botines, designed by Antoni Gaudí, the Catalan architect. Jack, you should take Shannon to visit this museum – it would amaze her I am sure. His masterpiece is the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, but this museum describes his exploration of natural shapes to guide his designs.

The exterior of the Cathedral of Leon is even more beautiful at night. Close by is the Barrio Húmedo, or “wet neighborhood”, where there are a lot of bars. Lisa and I chose one and we had morcilla, scallops and gambas a la plancha, washed down with Rioja wine. As a digestif we tried an herbal orujo. Plain orujo is like grappa, which can be like firewater. With the herbal infusion, the orujo made a very pleasant end to our meal. On the way back to our lodgings, we bumped into more of our Camino family and had a nightcap with them.

7 thoughts on “León

  1. Thank you for another wonderful post. Your words about your friend Doug brought tears to my eyes. I’m sure he is smiling and happy you are doing so well on your journey. The other day when you said you had reached the halfway point of your journey I was a little sad. It’s like reading a great book that you never want to end.

    Liked by 1 person

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