Matthew 18:20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.
Day 24 — 9.27 Miles — Puente Villarente to Leon, May 21. Todays’ walk was under ten miles so we decided to leave about 9:30 in the morning. The path was gravel and ran parallel to a road. The fields were quickly replaced with the suburbs and the noise from suburbs. Commercial and Industrial buildings were now on either side of The Way. We could no longer hear birds or the sound of leaves moving in the trees.
The temperature was staring to climb just before we reached our hostel. We had about one block to walk. We turned the corner and there sits Toby at a table having a beer. He was waiting for his room to be ready and just happened to be staying at the same hostel as us. Our hostel last night in Puente Villarente was also his choice. We did not see him there as he went into the village to eat. About five minutes after we sat down, Amelie came limping by. We invited her to join us. She and Toby have not met while walking. She was booked into the same hostel as Toby and us. In a town the size of Leon, it was quite a coincidence that we would all be staying at the same location.
After we were settled in our room, we walked down the street to the Museum of San Marcos. The museum was housed in a cathedral. Documentaries on the historic buildings in Spain do not come close to show casing the buildings’ beauty and history. Cross #28 was hung around the neck of a bronze pilgrim statue outside the museum.
Day 25—Over 5 Miles of Walking in Town—Rest/Tour Day in Leon, 5/22
Per information on the city map, “Leon was founded on the site of the Roman camp Hispania once occupied by the Roman Legio VII Gemina. Leon’s history goes back over 1,000 years. It has been subjected to barbarian and Muslim invasions. In the 10th century, it witnessed the emergence of the monarchy and nobility of northwestern Spain.”
The rhythm in Spain is drastically different than the US. Commerce does not start until about 9:30 or 10 a.m. We had a leisurely breakfast, unfolded a city map and headed toward the Cathedral de Santa Maria de Leon. We back tracked following the yellow arrows as the Camino also takes the pilgrims past the church. We started across a small square, there was Toby sitting outside a cafe having coffee. We chatted for a few minutes then proceeded to the Cathedral de Santa Maria de Leon. Just before we entered the cathedral, a nun walked by. She was given cross #29. The smile on her face was beautiful after she understood the cross had traveled from Los Estados Unidos to her.
A magazine about the cathedral contained a comment that states how one feels after visiting this historic cathedral. “Leon’s Cathedral is for me that piece of history that every day transforms into art, hiding architectural mysteries and seducing all those who enter.” We wish our pictures would do it justice. The cathedral is still in use for church services. A service was being held in one of the smaller side sanctuaries. One should remember however that the building is not the church. The people are the church.
After leaving the church, Rachel who ate dinner with us in the Puente Villarente stopped to talk. We talked to Ed and Melissa also. They were in a store across from the cathedral when we walked in.
We have only have about thirteen more days on The Way. If all goes well, our planned arrival in Santiago is June 4. Tomorrow’s destination is Villadangos del Paramo. Buen Camino. Sharon and Ron.