Early in the morning I left the city of Leon and rolled through the deserted downtown. Then the pilgrimage route continues on the national road.
That's what I wanted to capture photographically, the exit from the city of Leon. On the right strip leads the way of the bike pilgrim. Following a strange law of nature, there is always a headwind and it is always uphill - well, almost always! The trucks thunder by, creating a gust of wind that cyclists must be prepared for. Especially the second one, if the truck has a trailer.
The foot pilgrims on the sidewalk on the other side of the street are not much better off.
Finally, following my bike guide, I was able to ride on back roads again. The world looks much nicer.
click on the picture to enlarge!
Suddenly there it was in front of me, the Puente de Orbigo, for me one of the most beautiful Romanesque bridges on the Spanish Way of St. James.
So that you can see that there is also water, I took this picture.
Now comes the big moment. Devoutly I push my bike over the curved bridge and think to myself "1000 years she has been waiting for me".
More photos of my favorite bridge and of the encounter with the old Spaniard are on an extra page.
Another small mountain must be conquered, until I get through a gate in the Roman city wall into the old town of Astorga around noon. The first way leads to the Cathedral of Santa Maria.
The late Gothic main portal is of particular beauty with its ornamental plant ornaments and angels.
Interesting is the pink stone.
The cathedral was built in the 15th century in late Gothic style and later received a Renaissance facade of reddish sandstone. Inside the cathedral there is a choir stall with 97 walnut seats attributed to Hans of Cologne.
Right next to the cathedral is the Bishop's Palace, a Gaudi house.
After Astorga began the steady climb into the Leon mountains. On the way to Rabanal in El Ganso I noticed this portal.
Halfway up in Rabanal del Camino, as agreed, I met my fellow pilgrim Hans again in this romantic hostel.
In this private hostel, male and female are mixed in the dormitory. There came a foot pilgrim and threw herself exhausted on a bed. When I then said to Hans, "Are we going for another walk?" she said very sarcastically, "I can do without that!".
Another pilgrim on foot cools her hot feet in the courtyard of the hostel.
Note the sweater. It was urgently needed at 16 degrees.
A happy pilgrim in front of the Church of the Assumption in Rabanal del Camino.
Photos: Gerhard Eichinger