Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day 25 (10/17) - San Nicolas de Real Camino to Sahagun (8.3km) then Sahagun to Leon by train

We had a pleasant stay in our albergue then hit the trail at 8am and enjoyed a nice sunrise and fairly clear skies for the short (8.3km) walk to Sahagun where we had coffee and snacks and and then caught the 12:50pm train to Leon, skipping 57km of trail and 3 days of walking -- and taking only 35 minutes! It's a nice walk along a major avenue from the train station to the Leon Cathedral. We stopped first at Hostal San Martin, where we stayed last year, and were lucky to get the last room. The bathroom was "down the hall" but the price was great, less than $40 for a room within a few blocks of the cathedral. We wandered around a bit getting reoriented to the maze of streets and made our way to Plaza San Martin, a square with a number of very popular tapas bars and our favorite "watering hole" from last year. We had a nice lunch, toured the amazing 13th century cathedral. It was constructed over a short period (50 years or so) and at a time when Leon had only 5,000 residents. Then we returned to our hostal and ran into some other pilgrims and visited a bit. Our favorite bars are open around lunch, closed for siesta and reopen between 7 and 8pm. The bars all offer a small but tasty tapas for free with every glass of wine and at a quite reasonable price. Typically less than $3 for a 3oz pour of wine along with with free snack. We met a fellow pilgrim at one bar, then went to El Tijon where we had a few glasses of wine and larger plates of snacks. Cindy had wild mushrooms (setas) with garlic and olive oil, our friend had a platter of dry cured beef with cheese, and I had a platter of thinly sliced beef tongue with a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar. All was served with bread and we each had two glasses of excellent red wine. After that we went to another tapas bar, where they serve a small slice of pizza with your drink. It was Friday night and things were fairly quiet when we started at 7pm but picked up quickly and were VERY busy when we finished at 9:30pm and went back to our room. All in all a very nice day!

Sunrise over the meseta. It's been quite a few (rainy) days since we could enjoy a sunrise!

Old bridge and old "Ermita" (hermitage) near Sahagun.

Gaudi designed building (a bank) in central Leon.

Leon Cathedral (above and below) - constructed before 1300.

Wine with free portion of paella.

Plate of thinly sliced beef tongue (above). Below is dry cured beef and local cheese.

Location:Leon, Spain

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