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That’s me smiling at you all from León.  He’s on the basilica right opposite the cheap hotel I managed to find when I arrived in León at about 14.50.  Took a while to find somewhere and then to find the reality, not the internet page, and then to find a real person who would let us in.  Then a shower was vital as I’d done this:

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That’s 107km of mostly fairly flat but increasingly hot Spain done.  OK, the last two km were going round in circles in León itself but it’s still 105km of real progress.

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Google maps says between 322 and 342km still to go to Compostela but I know better than to trust her.  This was her idea of part of the route to the hotel:

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It was so much further to find a way round that I did get off and coax Toto down those two flights of steps with a pigeon looking on in amusement:

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Eight cycling days left and I know that a lot of what’s left is pretty seriously hilly.  However, I think, barring accidents, that I should be safe now to make it to Compostela and back for the family wedding, but sadly, no Finisterre for me.

León is beautiful.  My architect hero Guadi created a turkey in my view:

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I’m told that many people like it, but that was a really, really bad day for Guadi in my view.  I’m not a huge fan of the Sagrada Familia, but I love everything else I’ve ever seen that I he did and at least the Sagrada had, what can I say?  Panache?  Hubris?  I think he fell out with people here in León and that this was a joke on his part.  Unlikely I guess.

It was acually the first bit of significant architecture here that I saw as we arrived:

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That’s Toto telling Guadi it’s a turkey:

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Guadi wasn’t listening.

OK. Enough silliness. The basilica is magical, the cathedral is wonderful, none of the grandiose overkill of Burgos and a similar amount of Gothic stained glass to my beloved Chartres, and not dissimilar period, but underlines why Chartres is breath taking as the windows here are interesting, but really don’t turn your stomach upside down. To be fair, the unity, and much of the stone carving do.  But that all has to wait as, talking of stomachs, mine needs feeding or we won’t be making a good next step tomorrow.

And on that note: this was from last night in Carrión de los Cordes.  Jamon Iberico as advised by my Catalan friend Guillem.  It was every bit as good as it looks.

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But I finished the day off there like this:

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You can’t really see it there (no, not the beer silly), that’s reckoned to be the best Romanesque Christ Pantokrator between those two lights.  I think it came out well with the floodlight actually.  I think it’s hard to disagree with the accolade but I’m hardly an expert and a smartphone camera (though great, as you say Haroula), can’t do it justice either.

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Tonight I will eat and drink looking across the square at that basilica.

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    2 Comments

  1. Have had a quick read before turning in. You seem to have had a great day. Good night. M &D.

  2. It is a wonderful travelogue, Chris, and I am enjoying the pictures, your humour, and your reflections on the road!!

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