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What I learned about León, Astorga and Toro

This weekend we went to León, another in the series "Provincial Capitals in Castilla y León."

 The city is one of the marker points on the east/west portion of the pilgrim's route from France to Santiago de Compostela - the Camino de Santiago. We thought, as we were on the Camino, we may as well pop in to Astorga which is the northermost point of the route up from the south, the one kept open by the Knights Templar all those years ago. On the way home we stopped off at Toro so Maggie could sample the local wine. It was, according to a leaflet from the tourist office, the first Spanish wine to go to the New World as Columbus packed a few crates of the stuff onboard the Santa Maria (or maybe la Niña or la Pinta.)

So what did we find out?

  1. Well, at least one hotel in León, that is otherwise extremely nice, has cornered the market in uncomfortable mattresses. 
  2. That every bar in León gives hefty portions of some form of snack with each and every drink - the downside is that drinks are something like 50 cents a go more expensive than in the fair city of Ciudad Rodrigo. 
  3. That the tourist office has no idea about Spanish practices at all - the office is open, without break, from 10am in the morning till 8pm in the evening all over the weekend; go on like that and they may have to talk to some tourists. 
  4. On Palm Sunday in León people wave laurel as well as palm fronds and those with an eye to the easy pickings in the town park wave wisteria!
  5. Eating wafers - the sort of wafers you put around a person sized block of Walls vanilla ice cream in the UK - flavoured with honey, cinammon or honey and pine nuts is pretty popular in León on Palm Sunday.
  6. Gaudí not only built Parc Güell, the Casa Milá, The Sagrada Familia and a couple of others in Barcelona. He designed at least one building in both Astorga and León.
  7. Astorga produces chocolate; it has orange chocolate, green chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate and chocolate with and without nuts. From our extensive research we can confirm that Astorga chocolate tastes like the economy stuff from Tesco or Carrefour but at the price of the tastefully displayed sweeties in those Belgian chocolate shops.
  8. Toro, in the province of Zamora, is a nice little town, with lots of street cafés and a big church. The town also produces wine. The decent stuff is quite expensive but Maggie says it is worth the euros.




Comments

Brian and Tess said…
Uncomfortable matresses, you should try traveling through the near East, India and S.E Asia, the beds are terrible and in most places they fill their pillows with bricks

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Combining my blogs

This blog is now dormant. It records our time in the beautiful city of Ciudad Rodrigo but it's a while since we've lived there. We now spend part of our time in Cartagena, Murcia and a part in Culebrón, Alicante.

If you would like to gave a look at what we're up to now just click on one of the tabs at the top of the page.

That's it

Done. Finished. I'm just about to disconnect the computer and that will be it. We managed to get everything in the cars, tomorrow morning we'll dope up Edu and then all we have to do is to drive across Spain. The Culebrón link below will be in use for the next few weeks before we move on to Cartagena in September. Click on the links below.
So this blog is dead. Ciudad Rodrigo is history. Culebrón for the summer and then Cartagena.
The story continues .......

Missed something else

This morning, as I cleaned my teeth, I heard hooves in the street. I didn't bother to rush out. I took my time, I put on my boots and strolled out to buy fags and a paper. There were signs of horses or mules or donkeys having passed down the street. When I came out of the fag shop I noticed a fair sized crowd by the Fat Tree but the fun was over, the crowd was drifting away and I didn't have my camera anyway.
I've just checked the town web site and it says that The Brotherhood of Our Lady of the Peña de Francia, having been blessed by a local chaplain, set out on a Romeria (a sort of pilgrimage) from the town today heading for one of the highest peaks in the area - the Peña de Francia. They won't get there till Sunday as it's some 50km from here.