So, we made it to León. We got here on Thursday night and today is my second rest day here. We depart tomorrow for Villandangos Del Paramo. We’re just over 300 miles in. Only 190 miles left. It’s shocking to think I’m already this far into the Camino. I feel great, I definitely expected this trip to be more of a physical challenge, but it turns out for me, it has been more of a mental and spiritual challenge as I have talked about in my previous posts.
León is definitely my favorite city we have passed through. This may be the case simply because I have spent two days in León, but I’m convinced I love and enjoy it because it’s such a wonderful place. Walking around yesterday I was intrigued and in awe of all the beautiful statues of religious figures that were dispersed throughout the city. I love how architecturally diverse León seems to be. I came upon old roman walls and various gothic, baroque, and romanesque styled buildings as well.
The history of this city is so interesting and rich. The name León is derived from the word Legion, as León was once a Roman military base for the XIIth Legion. The city was conquered by the Visigoths then the Moors, then the Christians conquered the area.
Yesterday I visited the León Cathedral, which was unbelievable. I will talk about my visit to the León Cathedral in a future post.
Even our hotel, Hostal San Marcos is historic and it is the most amazing hotel I have ever stayed at in my life. This hotel is also in the movie “The Way” if any of you have seen it. When exploring this grand hotel/museum I was in shock at all the magnificent paintings within her walls, all of them being originals. This Parador hotel was once a pilgrim hospital, then a monastery, then a jail, and now is a magnificent, grand hotel. The hotel also has a church attached to it. When I was exploring today I actually walked into the church to find a wedding going on there!
Today I also visited the Basilica of Saint Isidoro, where I saw various frescos, tombs, sculptures, ancient biblical texts, and I even saw what many claim to be the “Holy Grail”. Whether the cup was the one Jesus blessed at the last supper or not, the grail was beautiful. The Basilica museum was so interesting, I spent hours there and I would love to return someday.
I would definitely suggest traveling to León if you love history, architecture, food, religion, and/or the Spanish culture. Every moment that I’ve been here has been such a blessing.
Walking through historic Europe, basking in the sunlight, going to local cafés, and meeting interesting people. Yes, I could get used to this life.
The city is just as beautiful at night as it is during the day. The night life here also seems great as well, near Plaza Mayor there are many little tapas bars and people seem to flock there at night. Last night some of my friends and I walked around the plaza area and there happened to be a concert going on, which was so fun. I have definitely enjoyed my time here in León, but tomorrow is time to move onto the next city.
It’s strange to think that in two weeks I’ll be in Santiago.
I will continue to live in the present moment and embrace the rest of the time I get to spend here.
Stay true, live justly, and always travel on. Peace and love.