Camino de Santiago: Day 16 – 17, Central Plateau Spain
From the moment we arrived in the center of the city, Sarah and I were taken with the Spanish city of Burgos. It wasn’t so much the soaring cathedrals, the narrow cobblestone streets or the abundance of sidewalks cafes and tapas bars, it was a feeling. There was a sense of history, the people seems proud, but friendly, and even though we were strangers, we felt welcomed. Although not a very large city by modern standards, it seemed to have everything you would want and enough to keep you entertained for a long time.
We used our “borrowed” time in Burgos largely to accomplish mundane things; do the laundry, catch up on emails, get new SIM cards and visit the pharmacy for things to heal out feet, but we also managed to enjoy the charm of the city. We ate far too many tapas and drank red wine in tiny tapas bars, toured Burgos Cathedral and other historic sites and largely took time to relax.
We were feeling physically refreshed by the end of our second day when we boarded the train to carry us across the Meseta to León. Here the rail line largely shares the same route as highway N-120 and the Camino de Santiago. The weather went from cold and partly cloudy to cold, grey and rainy as we progressed across the wide open spaces with little else to see. We made three stops along the 200 kilometer route and at every stop we picked up more and more Camino de Santiago pilgrims wanting to escape the wind, the cold and the monotony of highways and empty space. To a person they all said we made, at least during this time, the right decision to take the train from Burgos.
We arrived in León and again just took out time to relax, look at the sites and enjoy. We didn’t have a lot of time but we had a good look around. We had wine and tapas in charming bar called “Jamón, Jamón” were we got three glasses of wine, and two huge places of bread, cheese and Iberian ham for around $4 USD.
It was again unseasonably cold in León so after eating two huge plates of pasta in a warm restaurant we went back to our hotel early because the next day we were to again start walking “The Way”. Crossing the Meseta by train has bought us more time in Santiago de Compostela at the end of the trip, more flexibility as the scheduling our stops on the remaining 350 kilometer walk and eliminated the sense of rushing we were beginning to feel.