Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 26 (10/14) - Mansilla de Las Mulas to Leon (19.6km)

Surprisingly, since this was our first night in awhile to sleep in a dormitory, we got good night's sleep. We walked today with Orla (our Irish friend), had breakfast in nearby bar and hit the trail. We walked fairly slowly and made it to Leon by 1:30pm. Orla met her friend, Claudine, near the cathedral and we went our separate ways. We booked two nights in a nice budget hostal recommended in the Rick Steves book at 39 euro per night - Hostal San Martin is a few blocks from the cathedral and near a small and quiet plaza. We had a wonderful yet inexpensive lunch (6.5 euro each for big portion plus wine, bread and small desert) at a bar on our plaza and then back to the room to get organized. In late afternoon, we wandered around several of the plazas and scouted tapas bars, they will open at 7:30pm, around plaza San Martin. Like much of Spain, Leon observes siesta with most shops and museums closing from around 2pm until 5pm. Back at plaza San Martin, we began our "tapas bar crawl". It is a small plaza with perhaps 8 tapas bars and we visited 5 of them! A small free tapas is included with a glass of wine so that was our light dinner. A "tinto" (house red wine) cost less than $2 and a "crianza" (aged red wine) was only a bit more. They are fairly generous with the wine and pour 3-4 ounces. We had 5 glasses each (along with the free tapas) and total cost was 18 euro (around $24). We visited Bar Latino (mushrooms), El Llar (Potatoes and bread plus ham), Bar Ribote (wonderful croquettes with crunchy crust - choose from 5 types), La Competencia (small pizza slice), a d El Tizon (bread with chorizo).

Lunch at place near our hostal. A wonderful bowl of bean stew on a somewhat dreary day really hit the spot.

At 7:00pm the tapas bars on Plaza San Martin began to open! We hit 5 spots and considered that our dinner.

Wine here includes free small tapas. Two glasses wine, Jamon on bread, and potatoes with cheese sauce for less than $5 total.

Next place offered really nice croquettes - they had 5 different types.

Then small pizza slices

El Tizon gave us bread with chorizo slices.

Sorry about the obsession with food and drink but Leon is great.

Location:Leon, Spain

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