Yesterday, I hung up my pilgrim's shell and became a tourist for a few days as I transition to my new role as "Hospitalera". That is the name of the job performed by those who run the Albergues, but more about that in a future post, for now I am a touristica, so when I woke up in the Albergue in Sahagún, at 6:30 am when the dorm lights were flipped on, I didn't have to get out of bed. I had the luxury of getting up slowly and lingering over coffee with the hotel guests and the 2 Perigrinos who were staying in Sahagún, forced to rest due to foot issues.
I met a most interesting English couple who were doing a road trip through Portugal and Spain with 4 other couples from their Teal Car (Bugatti) car club. I went out back to the Hotel car park and saw this wonderful fleet of antique cars.
My train was not until 12:52 so I was able to do some sightseeing around the town.
Then to the train station to take the 30 min ride into Leon. There were lots of Perigrinos aboard. I guess their were more than a few who needed to rest their feet. I talked with a lady from California who was doing the Camino "Kangaroo style", as she put it. She had sold everything she owned and was touring Europe,making her first travel segment the Camino. Her bag was too heavy for her to carry and so she was sending it forward each walking day, but instead of walking the whole distance, she was walking a bit and then busing or taking a train for the next bit. As is said, everyone has their own Camino. She was the third woman I have met on the Camino who does not have an answer when asked "where is your home"?
The train brought me pretty much to the centre of the City, just a 20 minute walk from the Cathedral and my hotel. Thanks to Booking.com I was able to book a nice hostal at the corner of the street right at the Cathedral, for only 30 EUR a night. I will stay here 2 nights as a tourist. I really lucked out with this hostal. A hostal is really just a less expensive hotel. Private room and private bath - unlike a Pension, which Is a still less expensive version, generally with shared baths.
The walk to the Cathedral was easy easy and picturesque and the Cathedral in Leon is pretty special, but I will leave that to tomorrow's post to describe.
|The room was perfect|
|My view from my Juliette balcony|
|Hostal Albany where I stayed in Leon|
My hotel featured a restaurant/Cafe/bar/ice cream shop downstairs. It was a perfect place to sit out and watch the Pilgrims arrive after their day's walk and to take in the beauty of the Cathedral. The empanada and Sangria was a perfect afternoon snack!
After checking in I went out wandering about town and did a bit of sightseeing. Amazingly, I bumped into dozens of Pilgrims I had become friends with over the past 3 weeks from a the various cohorts I had joined. Leon is a popular stop for pilgrims to stay a few days. A large number of us headed out for dinner together and for an evening of socializing.
It was a late night- the first late night since I arrived in Spain. I will leave my descriptionn of Leon and the sights until tomorrow's blog.