SPECIAL NOTE FOR FOLLOWERS: We are having some difficulty getting pictures from our phones to the tablet. I haven’t quite figured it out yet, so in the meantime, Heather’s pics will be available on her Facebook page. I will continue the narrative of our experiences here on the blog, however.
Well, it appears that we have gotten the jet lag behind us. Yesterday we slept until 10 am and barely made desayuno in the hotel dining room. As these breakfasts go, this is a pretty good one with plenty of real black coffee and fresh, delicious fruit.
After squaring ourselves away, we ventured out into the noisy streets towards Plaza Mayor where I remember seeing a farmer’s market two years ago. It was empty this time around so we sat for awhile and watched some busy pigeons scavenge for crumbs. From here it was just a short walk to the Cathedral. We paid the 5€ entry fee and basked in the beauty of this remarkable Gothic achievement. The Cloisters were not open, so we exited to the plaza and crossed over to a gift shop where Heather purchased souvenirs and a Camino bracelet for herself.
I wasn’t feeling that great and didn’t want lunch, but Heather went into a fast food restaurant and got a bocadilla and a Coke which she took back to the hotel to consume. I fell asleep soon after and took my own siesta. Heather woke me up about 5:45 and said she was going to the Vesper service at the attached monastery, and I went back to sleep.
Later on we walked over to Plaza San Isadora and ate dinner at Boccalino. At the end of dinner a weary pilgrim came over and sat down near us. We struck up a conversation with him and learned that he was from Santa Fe. He was suffering from tendinitis in his leg and was taking four days off after busing in from Carrion de Las Condes. His walking buddies would catch up with him in a few days and hopefully he would be better by then. We wished him well and said goodnight. Back at the hotel we arrived just in time for the Pilgrim’s Blessing service in the chapel and then climbed the stairs to our room to get some sleep.
Heather didn’t sleep too well, and we got up today around 9 : 30 and had breakfast downstairs. I decided that it would be a good idea to get some extra cash for the next couple of days out in the countryside, so I ventured out to the nearest bank and used the ATM machine to get some Euros. No problems whatsoever. Heather wanted some body creme so I found a perfumerie on Calle Ancho and bought some ” Vasenol ” cacao radiante ( Vaseline Intensive Care ). During this errand I discovered that the farmer’s market was in full swing in Plaza Mayor so I went back to the room to get Heather. We then left to see some more sights and walked all the way to San Marcos and the Parador Hotel. The San Marcos cathedral was completely empty, so we sat there for a while and prayed for our loved ones back home. On the way back, we stopped at the farmer’s market for some fruit and then at a local panaderia for some bread and made our way back to Hospederia Monastica. On the way up the stairs Heather tripped and fell, ripping part of one of her big toe nails off. It’s bandaged up now and we are hoping that it won’t be too much of a problem for her.
Tonight we attended the Vespers and dinner is next. Tomorrow is our first day of walking and we’re pretty excited about it.