Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Leon to Hospital de Orbigo

Although we thought Leon was a beautiful city, it must be spectacular when it is not raining. There was a constant drizzle the 3 days we were there, but we didn't let it dampen our spirits.
We had some time this morning before our departure and I wanted to take a last look. This bridge (photo 1) crossing over the Rio Bernesga captures a more modern perspective of Leon, with high rises and offices. Along the river is a lovely park with playgrounds and fountains (photo 2) and, of course, everyone had an umbrella today (photo 3).
This morning we decided to give Michele's leg another day of rest and we took the 30 minute bus ride about 20 miles to Hospital de Orbigo (pop. 1100).
We checked into our hotel, Paso Honoroso, which is actually a 3-star hotel at a truck stop. Our room is on the back overlooking a working farm and we can't hear a bit of noise from the highway. Price is the usual 50€ for 2 with bath, and it was a huge room.
Then we went exploring and every village has something to see. In this case it is the Puente de Orbigo, one of the longest and best preserved medieval bridges in Spain dating from the 13th century and built over an earlier Roman bridge which formed one of the great historical landmarks on the Camino. It has primarily been used for trade, but certainly it has come in handy for pilgrims. (Photo 4 and 5)
Another landmark in this area is this unique water tower. (Photo 6)
Michele and I were so impressed with this bridge that we decided to treat ourselves to a drink in a fancy bar overlooking the bridge. We included a plate of prawns in our treat (12€) but they were worth it.
Later we had dinner, just the two of us, at the "Los Angeles" Restaurant. It was one of our best meals, with salad, beef stew and flan for only 9€ and the restaurant was far more elegant inside than it looked from the street. It was nice to have an evening with just the two of us for some quiet reflection. We'll meet up with plenty of our fellow pilgrims tomorrow.

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