I made it. It took 3 weeks to get here but I am sitting in the sun in a bustling cathedral plaza having a cerveza and it is market day.
The whole plaza is taken up with fruit and vegetable stalls, caravans selling meat and sausage, fish and cheese.
Then around on the side entrance to the cathedral amongst all the market sellers there is a wedding. It is so vibrant and alive this place. Great atmosphere.
In every plaza in town, and there are a few, there is a market. This main one for food another one for ceramics another one for tools and old wares and another one for jewellery and that is only 4 I have walked through.
This photo reminded me of Mexico.
UIt started as an overcast day but the sun is out, it is Saturday and everyone is out.
Leon is a huge town of approx 130,000 people which may be small in our eyes but it is really spread out and lots of little streets off streets.
It was a very easy 12km walk into Leon this morning. Stopped at the first cafe for brekky and all they had was coffee. Very disappointing but met a fellow Australian while I was there.
Walked on into Leon and as always the way took me right to the old part of town.
Great cafe on the sidewalk so I could eat my regular breakfast and people watch.
Followed the arrows and the Camino sign and came around the corner into the main square with the amazing cathedral.
I had to find accommodation and dump the pack as I ran into a few people from the walk and they were telling me everything was full. I asked a few people for directions to the albergue and ended up back where I started from when I first walked into town. Must have passed it twice but I am staying in the monastery albergue for €8 and the pilgrims meal is €8. They have prayers at 7pm and a pilgrims blessing at 8 when the nuns come and take you away for reflection. I won’t be able to attend as I will be meeting a friend for a drink at that time.
Leon was a roman military garrison and base for its VIIth Legion hence the name Leon from Legion. It later became the capital of the old kingdoms of Asturias and Leon.
Underneath the cathedral there are ruins of Roman baths and roman gates into the city. I went down to have a look. They were from the first century. I just stood there with my mouth open. So old and I was in awe of such history.
I was a bit tempted to buy a few things at a couple of the markets today but with a little backpack I cannot carry it.
As it was Saturday there was fiestas and all sorts of things happening in town today. There was some sort of medieval festival
But it was a glorious day so I wandered all around this fabulous town and took it all in.
Went into the cathedral which took only 50 years to build and mostly stained glass windows.
Then went into the museum behind the cathedral and OMG. They had taken a lot of the original statues from the church and put them in the cloisters because of deterioration. There was a bible written in 920.
So I wandered some more and had a sangria and was sitting having my pilgrims meal in town, most restaurants serve a pilgrims meal, when who should wander by but Alison from my work
All in all a wonderful day in Leon and tomorrow I head closer to Santiago.
Hasta mañana me Amigos
4 thoughts on “The Day 20 – Puente Villarente to Leon”
how fab that you coincided with market day. I really liked Leon – a beautiful city. And oh the small world we live in – that you ran into a work mate….
I love the sound of your day in Leon & always the best fun when you see someone you know unexpectedly.
Small world! How amazing to run into Alison 😃
Another amazing day Mags…..and wow, what a small world it is!!!