It’s amazing how fast your mind and body adapts to a new lifestyle. A month ago I’d have given my right arm (well, maybe tip of a toe) to stay in the Parador de Leon, the word in luxury hotels in Spain, take a massage and eat at the restaurant and now, thanks to the camino, I would rather be walking! My legs ITCH to get moving ever onward to Santiago! of course I am grateful for this restful day and everything within it (especially the apple eating peacocks) but I am truly amazed at the change in my priorities!
This morning we left the albergue at 8am and went on the hunt for some earplugs (Ive managed to lose 4 pairs in 3 weeks), new trekking socks and a sleeping bag since I chucked mine away two days ago fearful of a full on chinches epidemic.
With little else to do after that 20 minute errand we spent the rest of the day exploring and taking photos. The city of Leon is charming, understated, attractive and chock full of interesting history and spectacular churches, monasteries and museums. Despite what it says in my Brierley guide, the pilgrims in the city are well catered for, the way is clearly marked and many of the best restaurants provide pilgrim discounts. Plus, BIG plus, you get a little tapa with every drink you order, even water!
This evening, we attended a special Pilgrim blessing at the most exquisite and frankly special church I’ve seen on the Camino, the San Isidoro. Inside the church is another smaller chapel that gave such a special, warm, embracing feeling, it felt almost womb like! The lighting and architecture of the chapel is constructed in such a way as to impress safety and peace upon those who enter. It really is a special place and worth a visit to Leon just to spend time within the church.
This morning we checked into the Parador de Leon, itself an important building for the way of St James (Read Here) and treated ourselves to a pilgrim lunch at the hotel’s own restaurant. Doesn’t look too shabby? Actually the meal was an amazing deal, wine, steak, tiramisu and pedro ximenez 1986 for 18€. A recommendation to all pilgrims in Leon.
As fancy as Leon is, we both really feel the call of Santiago and are raring to go tomorrow, especially after the personal blessing at the San Isidoro. Lounging around, eating gourmet grub in luxurious surroundings, feeling bloated and lazy is not the treat I once thought it to be! Ultreïa!