lundi 25 mai 2009

Victoria Day in Mansilla de las Mulas

Yesterday, May 24th, was Queen Victoria's birthday (versus the national holiday that does not always fall on her birthday). Several Canadians, including yours truly, celebrated by having cervezas and vina tinto. (As an aside, a bottle of reasonable vino tinto in the bar cost us 2.35 Euros, versus 1.5 Euros each had we had a coke. The choice was obvious) Queen Victoria was toasted several times, as was the present queen and her dysfunctional brood. We had a great time. I met a few more Canadians yesterday, including a couple from Oakville who had known each other peripherally for years, met on the camino last year, and are now married; a woman from Toronto who has been working in Korea for 2 years, and another Ontario woman now living in Australia. The man from Victoria, Brian, lives in Fairfield, or 10 minutes from us. Small world!

One of the pleasures of the Camino is running into people you haven't seen for a while. Yesterday, we ran into the Yellowknife mom and 2 daughters we hadn't seen since day 2. It was neat.

Today, we are in Leon and splurging by staying at the Paris Hotel. It is wonderful! We couldn't do that every day, though, or we would miss out on one of the best parts of the camino, which is meeting and mixing with people in the evening. We arrived around noon, and have visited the cathedral (medieval and dark with stained glass windows, versus Burgos which is delicate and light), the church of San Isidor, and a bank that was designed by Gaudi and looks like it could be Hogwarts school. Our plans were initially to spend two days in Leon, but we now think that if we spend only one night, we can get to Santiago in time to take a day trip by bus to Finisterre. The walk into Leon was pretty nice, versus the industrial zone of Burgos. You do get a different view of big cities when you have to walk through them.

We have had a bit of rain, nothing to complain about. The snails all came out, and we saw people collecting them in plastic bags. The snails are beautiful; I will never eat escargots again! I am not being vegetarian on this trip; I figure I need the energy. I met an Austrian vegetarian who has been living on salads, chips, and chocolate. Not good...

Well, time for dinner. Till next time.


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