Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Day 3 - Bercianos Del Real Camino - León, Spain, October 3, 2018

Today was a good day.  We made 48.02 km and got to León.  Santiago de Compostella, where I'm going, is on the far left side of the map-

Breakfast was good, sort of:  fried eggs and slightly warmed tomatoes, but I had enough prosciutto to feed an army.  The fat balled up in my mouth and coated the roof of my mouth.  I would have preferred it fried-

There are a lot of crosses along the way.  This one was in El Burgo Ranero, a small village-

There are many along the path.  Lots of people pile small rocks around them-

Sometimes there's a fancy monument in a town.  I feel like the guy on the left-

The land is rocky and red.  We saw a tractor with a stone picker too-

I don't think they could grow anything without irrigation.  Everything appears to get water from the canals.  This is a major one but all the ditches have them and sprinklers are set up in all the fields-

Sometimes the Camino is a nice path and sometimes it's the highway.  I prefer the highway for speed but it's quieter and less dangerous on the path.  We really haven't had to pass a lot of people, but that also depends where we are.  Closer to the bigger centers like Burgos and León, there are more people, but as we get farther out in the country there are fewer-

Roman ruins of a bridge along the way-

We made it to León and our first stop was at the bike shop where I needed my front derailler adjusted, my back brake oiled so it doesn't squeak, my front shocks loosened because they were very stiff and I wanted my handlebars extended with a longer stem if possible.  Bicigrino, the company I rented my bike from, has contacts along the way to do the work for free, except the stem was my cost;  I'm hoping they will buy it from me, otherwise I will take it off the bike when I'm done and take it home.  I hate riding hunched over, even though it's aerodynamically better to hunch but I get such a sore upper back. I'm hoping tomorrow will be more comfortable.  And speaking of comfort, my legs are fine and so is my butt, it's my labia/vagina/vulva that is killing me.  It's swollen up like I've been hooking for days!

After dropping my bike off, we had a nice lunch that we bought at a supermarket - gorgeous bread, ham, cheese, fruit and drinks.  We sat beside the Catedral to eat.  Construction  began in 1205-

The front entrance, which unfortunately they are renovating, is hidden by a large sheet.  The clock tower is on the right-

The front doors are amazing-

It's built in gothic style and it's hard to believe that a town, population 5000, would build such a gigantic church-

The church is blocked off by this wall of Triumph-

That has four carvings depicting the birth of Jesus-

Past the wall is the main altar-

And up close-

There are numerous chapels on the outside walls.  Here is one dedicated to the pregnant Virgin-

In the choir are carved wooden chairs depicting books from the Old Testament-

The pipe organ has more than 4000 pipes.  Unfortunately I didn't get to hear it but there is an organ festival weekends in September and October-

There are over 1800 square meters of stained glass and most windows date from the 13th to 15th centuries.  Lots depict plants and vegetation-

Others show professions from the time-

The huge round window above the entrance-

After leaving the Catedral, which I would say is the most magnificent I have ever visited, I wandered from plaza to plaza.  Many buildings are so beautifully decorated with window boxes-

The streets in the old city are narrow and cobbled, filled with shops, hotels and restaurants-

Popular food is beef cecina.  It's salted and dried-

I had walked past this empty large rack in the afternoon, but it was only at night that I saw it was a gigantic barbeque for all kinds of meat-

This man is coating walnuts with butter and sugar over a propane tank-

The start of paella-

Roasting potatoes and green beans-

There was a constant shower of water on the coconut and what I think are chick peas-

This man made potatoe chips-

Besides jewelery, pottery, essential oils, and just about everything imaginable in the market, there's also awesome cheese-

Near to the street market is a beautiful fountain-

Next to it is Gaudi's Casa Botines opened in April 2017 for the first time in 125 years.  It was built in 1891 and today is a museum that I did not visit-

The Basilica de San Isidoro was consecrated in 1063-

The altar-

Looking back from the altar-

The Way of Saint James is marked everywhere by the seashell.  There are metal ones on the sidewalks, marking the way-

Today was a big day.  I'm glad I got my bike fixed and saw the sights of Leon.  Looking forward to moving on in the morning.  

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