Madrid Camino Day 17 – Leon

May 22, 2017

Spent part of yesterday passing a kidney stone – relieved it was relatively painless. I now know the cause of that nagging back pain. I kept the stone. I have plans for it.

I finally had a wonderful sleep, tucked away in my little hotel room in the heart of the old city of Leon. 

Just outside the city walls

Leon is a lovely town with some impressive architecture, particularly the world renowned Basilica de San Isidoro, which houses what many believe to be the Holy Grail. It has been here for over a thousand years and its providence is supported by Rome. It has been used as a chalice by popes since St. Peter and it is here through a series of well documented and credible circumstances. Intriguing. I wanted to go and have a look at it, to compare it to some of the other Grails I’ve seen, but they were in the process of making a documentary about it, so it was off limits to the public.  

A view of the Cathedral

I wandered through town for a time and eventually ran into Jean. We had a snack on a park bench near the Roman walls and played tourist a bit. I am treasuring my own company and turned down his invitation to explore the city by night.

I sat at a cafe in the main square to people watch while munching a chocolate croissant and drinking a thick Spanish hot chocolate. Very enjoyable to be so idle. I ran into my two Belgian friends from the Camino Madrid. Despite having spent precious little time together, it felt like old home week.

The lovely pedestrian streets of Leon

Later, I went to the grocery store for fresh food, for dinner in my room and to carry on my walk tomorrow.  I am planning a 24 km stage and hoping for cool weather. I am firm in my decision to stay in as many little cheap hotels as I can and avoid the big crowded albergues whenever possible. So far, the solitude on this journey is what I cherish most.