A Day in the City of El Cid

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After a delicious breakfast, the desk clerk directed us to an area where we might find a self-serve laundry.  After a cursory search that lasted about one hour we decided to go back to the hotel and avail ourselves of the hotel laundry services.  This would cost us about ten dollars, but we didn’t want to spend any more valuable time in these pursuits.  We set out for the Cathedral about ten thirty and walked to the Rio Arlanzon where we found the Disputacion Provincial and the statue of El Cid.

IMG_0229 From there it was a short walk through groomed Mulberry trees to the Arco de Santa Maria that led to the great plaza in front of the Cathedral.


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We entered the Cathedral from the west end only to find that the main entrance was on the south side.  It was here that we purchased entry tickets and tour headphones.  After finding the channel in English, we set out to view this massive structure in a somewhat organized way.  Greg’s headphones were not working properly so he went back to exchange them.  It was then that I lost contact with him in the crowd, so I finished touring the Cathedral on my own.  Within five minutes, I discovered that the guided tour was a hindrance to me, and I turned the recording off completely, preferring instead to just walk and absorb this beautiful space.  There seemed to be no restriction on picture taking as there was in Notre Dame, so I was able to take quite a lot of shots.

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In two hours I had finished the tour with no sign of Greg along the way.  I left the building, returning my headphones and looked to see if he might be waiting outside.  Again, there was no sign of him, so I sat on one of the plaza benches positioned to see anyone coming out of the exit.  After a half hour of observing some young Spanish students cavorting around in the plaza, I decided to head back to the hotel.  Back at the room, our laundry had been returned to us and was laid out completely folded on the beds.  The separate bags that we had left at the desk earlier, had been combined in the wash and were all together, grouped carefully by the chambermaid into shirts, pants, socks and underwear.  I pulled out my things and left the rest neatly arrayed on Greg’s bed.  I headed back to Cathedral square and searched the area for any sign of Greg.

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No luck! The Plaza Mayor was another great place to sit and watch people which I did for about 30 minutes – then back to the hotel to take a nap.  Greg had still not returned, but within a few minutes the door rattled and he entered, surprised as I was at the laundry display.  He too was feeling exhausted and wanted a nap as well.   I posted some pictures on Facebook and dozed off, waking up to the sound of the shower in the bathroom.  I turned on the TV and found our favorite game show.  Greg joined the fun a few minutes later and we both howled at the crazy contestants being dropped from their circle!  Soon it was time to eat.  After stopping at a department store (El Corte Ingles) and a bank to withdraw some cash at the ATM, we found a restaurant that we had seen advertised earlier that served American food.  For some reason that really appealed to us at this juncture of the trip, and we ordered a big cheeseburger and fries, topping it off with chocolate sundaes for desert. The only drawback to this dining experience was a group of school children at a birthday party in a room at the restaurant that was raucous and really irritating to both of us.  The parents couldn’t control them, but fortunately they left somewhat early after about two bites of our meal.  Then it was back to the hotel and to sleep as we would head towards the Meseta tomorrow.

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