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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blogging from Burgos

The Burgos Cathedral; a bit ungainly, but impressive in its age and size

Entering Burgos in the rain (avenue lined with plane trees)
Rain and hail just before Atapuerca

A late afternoon scene

Misty landscape
Burgos, Spain. I can´t say I knew a thing about it, but it´s a wonderful lively old city with an incredible cathedral begun in 1221 a.d. and finished some 500 years later. It´s unbelievably huge and incredibly ornate Quite a thing to behold- inside and out. The area around it is filled with open plazas and restaurants and shops in historic buildings. Very very nice ambience.

We began the morning in an abergue about 14 miles away in a town called Atapuerca, where the remains of the oldest documented human remains were recently uncovered (we didn't see them...). We arrived there last night soaking wet, as the skies opened and dumped hail and rain when we were about half a mile from town. No problem, an hour later we had showered and changed and were enjoying a beer at the restaurant across the street. The restaurant was soon flooded with pilgrims and the poor proprietor was frantically trying to feed the hungry masses. He was working alone because he said that the last few days had produced only a few pilgrim customers, so he was not expecting the influx. In true pilgrim style, everybody was in good humor and happy to wait for service. It was obvious the poor guy was doing all he could. Eventually his wife arrived to help out. It was a most enjoyable evening.

So...this morning´s weather was mist but not raining. Nice walking weather. We walked about 7 miles to a town where we could catch a bus to Burgos. What???? A BUS?????? I know it sounds like cheating, but the last 7 miles into Burgos runs along a highway in an industrial are and then unintersting commercial sections outside the old town. We- and many other peregrinos- thought it made more sense to save our feet for exploration of the town itself. Having seen the route now, we don´t regret our choice at all.

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