Terradillos de Los Templarios to Leon – Part 2

Entering our hotel room, it was like we were a bunch of kids at Christmas. The high count cotton sheets, the terry towels, and perhaps most exciting of all the little bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body lotion in the bathroom. AND there was a tub. We’d all been dreaming for days about being able to take a bath.

After oohing and aahing for several minutes, Jo Anne said she felt well enough to eat some breakfast, so the two of us went off in search of something that her stomach might be able to handle. Moya’s system wasn’t quite there yet so she stayed behind and slept.

After a light meal Jo Anne and I went to visit the Cathedral, which is truely stunning. I was especially taken by the extraordinary stained-glass windows. There are something like 30 of them around the main body of the church, plus three huge rose windows. Gregorian chant music was being piped throughout the church and even though it was canned, it was still quite lovely.

After a cup of tea and some chocolate cake (Jo Anne was definitely on the mend!) and getting a few groceries that we thought Moya might like, we returned to the hotel. I called Alan to wish him happy birthday. Unfortunately I got the time difference wrong and ended up dragging him out of bed at 6 a.m. It was good to hear voices from home, although it did make me a little homesick.

Something more should be said here about this hotel. This is taken from their web site:

The Parador was originally a monastery founded in the twelfth century to provide lodging for the pilgrims travelling to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. It later became the headquarters of the Order of Saint James whose soldiers provided protection for the pilgrims. The original building was demolished in the sixteenth century and the construction of the present building, on the original site, commenced in 1515. This is one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings in Spain. The carvings depicting religious and historical events on the 100 metre long facade are worthy of note. Magnificent cloisters were added and improved between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries which look over the gardens. The public rooms are many, all filled with paintings, carvings and tapestries.

It just so happened that there was a symphonic concert planned for that evening in one of the salons here. We tossed around the idea of trying to get tickets but in the end we opted for an early evening. Even so, we could hear the strains of Bach’s Canon in D Major quite clearly from our opened windows. 

The Cathedral
Another angle, showing one of the big rose windows
The bar where we had breakfast.
Spanish hams
And some other cured pigs' parts. One popular dish here is a soup made from chickpeas and pigs' ear. The meat is almost like tripe in consistency. Not bad, but not my favourite meal either.
Spanish sweets
Marshmellow candies
A fellow pilgrim and myself resting our weary feet.
Man fishing on the river that runs through Leon...for what I'm not sure.
Girl in red. Sorry it's blurry.
Bathroom products, coveted and valuable commodities among pilgrims.
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