15 Priority One: Recovery

It’s no secret my left ankle and right knee have been a source or concern for the past two weeks. The swelling in my knee is now under control thanks to the compression bandage I found in my backpack. Wearing my boots however continues to be an issue. For the time being the conditions are favorable, weather-wise, so I will wear my running shoes. These are less than desirable, but a better solution than resorting to the boots.

My plan from the outset was to take a day off in Burgos. As the Medieval Festival is on just now rooms are at an absolute premium. I found a hotel room online for 50 Euros with a bathtub, and sheets, and unlimited hot water,  and towels, and real pillows, and…….let’s call it what it is…..LUXURY!

I am able to check in at noon, so I decide to head over to the Catherdral. Funny how your memory exaggerates and distorts the truth some times. I suppose this is a willingness of my mind to expand on grandeur, somewhat romantic in a sense. Such is the case with the Cathedral in Burgos, and my idea of how large it is. It’s big……but it’s not enormous. I remember the slopes of Mont Everest behind my house on King St. in Hamilton…..yeah….back to the exaggeration thing again. (ask Nancy how big that hill was….)

This Cathedral is a large structure, and has been built, and rebuilt for about a thousand years. The main spire collapsed once, and numerous Bishops, and people of enormous wealth have bought their way into the history of this structure.

Not the least is El CID. Here’s the one person not having had to “buy” his way in. And what a location he and his wife have. Dead center of the Cathedral, under the main dome….while all the rest of the religious dignitaries are in small chapels around the perimeter of the main hall.

Sorry….who’s is El CID? Rodrigo Diaz was born in Burgos to a Nobel family in and around 1050AD and through a series of events became the single most effective military leader against the Moors invading Spain from North Africa. El CID was so feared by the opposing forces the sight of him on his white horse would cause defections in the Moor camps.

Eventually El CID died, and the Moors received this news. Figuring this was their big chance, mounted a major offensive. El CID’s army fixed up a truss on the saddle of his horse, tied his body to the truss, and marched him into battle. The Moors figured they had it all wrong fell into disarray, and in the ensuing confusion lost the battle.

The casket used originally for El CID is on display in a back hallway of the Cathedral….really worth seeing as well. Just as a note, he died in 1099.

Finally, at the end of the route through the many halls and corridors, a monument to EL CID. Of course he is shown slaying the Moors.

Interesting note….El CID was also known simply as The Moor Slayer.

One of the other quirky elements inside the Cathedral is the “Fly Catcher” time piece. High in one of the domes a pair of sculptures rng bells announcing the hour and quarter hours. The main character rings the bell while his mouth opens and closes… apparently catching flies. I have decided the Spanish have a bit of an odd sense of humour.

Odd….you betcha’.

Walking around the streets of Burgos Inhave come across to beautiful examples of Art Nouveau. One the front of a restaurant, and the other, more impressive to me, a door to a home. Both are carved wood, and in perfect condition.

Now back to my room, hopping into the tub and getting off my feet.