Note: I’m Recapping my second day in León. I’m already walking on the Camino. So much to do and see.
After breakfast, I walked with my Camino friend, to the bridge where the Camino de Francés resumes.
Peregrino Statue in San Marcos Plaza with my friend, Sharlet.
Ultreia, onward to Santiago.
The rest of the day and evening I explored amazing city. If you’re in Spain, be sure to visit. I could stay for a week. I was lucky to tour Gaudi’s Casa Botines, with a very knowledgeable young Spanish guide, who said “my English is not so good, so you can help me.” So modest! This is a non-religious building with a history you can research. Gaudi was brilliant, ahead of his time.
Later, I looked for Jewish history, as I do in my travels. I walked enough with that search and my earlier trek for a Camino day, 15 km. I read in my “Wise Pilgrim Guide” . . . “Several types of plaques are embedded in the pavement. One is the impression of the left foot of a Roman Soldier . . . And marks the boundary of the original Roman settlement and wall. The other . . . is a symbol of the peninsula and bears the Hebrew word . . . that translates as Sefarad, the Jewish name for Spain. It was that Jewish population expelled from Spain under the Alhambra Decree in 1492.” That is the Inquisition. The marker indicates the original barrio of León.
I only found the footprint and walked all over, asking at the tourist info office. They gave me a map and marked its approximate location. This was a Friday evening and so crowded, I couldn’t have seen it without a guide or a GPS. Next time.
I love the city, especially during the week, when it’s quiet enough to hear music and see the beauty with time to reflect and ask myself questions. I didn’t find the marker. Is it a memorial? Or, as I ask in my poem, “Walking the Way to Santiago” an apology?
I planned to leave the next morning for Astorga on a 7:00 a.m. train, with a €5.50 ticket for the 30 minute ride. I walked the beautiful route to the train station to buy the ticket and be sure of the way, since I would walk in the dark. I still hadn’t found a place to stay, just ready to take a chance, leave the city behind and begin my Way on the Camino.
I walked through the park and on city streets. As in so many cities that value leisure and time to gather, this park is not only beautiful, but a place for social interaction, exercise, fun, meditation and solitude. I easily found my way to the station. Leaving for the Camino mañana.
Buen Camino, amigos. Irene