Andrew and I spent Sunday and Monday in the city of Leon. The primary purpose was to have everything sorted for the next stage of the journey. We needed to get Andrew a pilgrim’s passport. This is the document you get stamped at each albergue you stay in. When you reach Santiago this is the document the Compostella Office will look at to determine if you have earned the certificate of completion.
It was nice having a break from the rigors of walking, early starts and the rustle and bustle of communal dormitories. It was also great to go exploring without a pack on my back.
Leon is an old town. Roman garrisons dating back to the time of Jesus were in operation here, housing at times the Roman 6th army and 7th army. Because of its central location it was also the hub of the kingdom of Leon.
The building of the cathedral began in 1350, built in the gothic style that was the new craze sweeping Europe. The use of arches allowed for lighter materials being used, giving height to the roofs. The use of the high arches and light through stain glass was seen as an expression of God’s glory.
This weekend was obviously party time in Leon. Saturday saw the young people out in fancy dress and street bands. Sunday was for children with bouncy castles and balloons. Leon can be a lively place.
Tomorrow the walking begins again.
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