One of the things we have learned about the Camino is that there are many ways of doing the Camino and all of them are right - as long as they are right for the individual. Some people walk every step of the way, some walk only parts, some do it by bike, some have their bags transported, some do it (albeit, abbreviated) by car, and others use a combination, often based on their personal needs and time constraints. An industry has evolved to support these various transportation needs of the pilgrim.
This morning Michele's leg was still bothering her and we made the decision to take the 30-minute train to Leon. We decided that would be a good place for her to recover and for us to sightsee. Some of our other pilgrim friends made the same decision.
Since our train did not leave until 1:30, I showed Michele some of the sights from yesterday, in particular, the Arch of San Benito (photo 1) and the Puente Canto over the River Cea. (Photo 2). This historic stone bridge was originally Roman, but was reconstructed in the 11th and 16th centuries. Its five strong arches have stood the test of time.
Our train was on time and we arrived in Leon (pop. 130,000) about 2. It is a big, beautiful, cosmopolitan city, again dominated by its large historic churches.
We checked into Hostal Posada Regia which is very close to the Cathedral. We have a lovely room with bath and small balcony for $120 for 2 nights with breakfast.
First we headed to the Leon Cathedral , (photos 3 and 4) which was erected beginning in 1253 and continuing for 50 years. It is a prime example of Gothic architecture which was sweeping Europe during that time. Each city wanted to have the biggest and best and 200 of these enormous structures were built in a 100 year period. The cathedral has 1800 sq meters of medieval stained glass windows. It has a central portico framed by two slender spire capped towers and a magnificent rose window.
We then went to the Church of San Isadoro, a fine example of Romanesque church, dating from the 10th century.(photos 5 and 6)
We walked along the streets (photo 7) and then met 5 other friends for dinner at an Italian Restaurant.