Camino de Santiago — Day 17

September 25 / Mansilla de las Mulas — León

Today I also slept well. I was one of the last ones to leave the albergue (like almost always in fact). The way to León went parallel to the road so it has been really boring. In fact, I hiked really fast in order to reach León sooner. The entrance to the city has been long and ugly as it enters through an industrial area.

That weekend was the local festivities of León, there was a medieval festival in many of its streets. Apart from the typical stands with all kinds of food and objects, there were two bands of medieval music. They cheered me up so I quickly forgot about the long entrance to the city.

I went around the city center and I entered the gorgeous cathedral (there was no discount for being a pilgrim). I took an audioguide which shared many interesting topics but maybe, it shared too many things. The best part was the explanation of its reconstruction on the XVIII-XIX centuries when they thought it was going to fall. About the cathedral, the stained glass windows and its height are spectacular, really worth seeing. I was a long time enjoying how the light entered the catedral through the different windows.

After, I got a beer in a pub and I ate the leftovers of the bread and embutidos. I rested a bit and I bought two cañitas de crema (a kind of pastry with cream) like the ones in Carvallino in one of the medieval stands, but as they weren’t warm, they weren’t great. This type of pastry you need to eat it a few minutes after taking them out of the oven.

On my way out of León I visited San Marcos, the Parador of León. An historical palace which is currently a hotel and it’s really well preserved.

I had booked a private albergue on the next village after León but as I got near I realized it was just one of its neighborhoods. So I kept walking, crossing another industrial area and reaching a little village on the outskirts where there was a military airport. The area was full of soldiers on the terraces.

On the albergue I met again Philippe, the French guy I met briefly on the Roman road a few days ago. There was also a French-Spanish family with two small kids, a dog and a donkey. They were asking for donations for the Camino.

I walked a bit around the little village and I decided to have dinner on a terrace where other pilgrims were already having dinner, and many locals and soldiers were having drinks. Dinner was good although I asked for something easy to cook: espaguetis with tuna and breaded filets.

Philippe told me he was going to do 40 kms in order to reach Astorga tomorrow. He convinced me to have that goal too so I went to sleep early so I could start walking at 6.30am.

Distance: 25.5km
Average speed: 5km/h
Lowest altitude: 788m
Highest altitude: 901m