Last night was such an uneventful night for some of our Camino family….and very different for others. I’m sorry, but you will have to use your imagination, I refuse to name names. Part of our family headed off to visit a bar where locals come to play and sing music. This is a postage stamp size establishment with more talent per square centimetre than any place I have seen. People playing guitars, basses, all manner of instruments, and people singing. Now here’s where it gets good.
Some people, I reiterate, some people go back to the Albergue early and some other people eventually rolled in at 7:00 in the following morning. These same people are hoping to get an hour of sleep before the mandatory checkout time. The management of the Albergue strictly enforce the ” out-the-door by 8 policy” in a rather heavy-handed fashion.
I can only describe our exit from the Albegue as akin to herding cats. Those of us with more than 20 minutes of sleep were picking up the pieces of those with exactly 20 minutes of sleep. In a word… not nice. And it’s raining out to maximize the discomfort some people are feeling….or so it seems.
I would like to set the stage. We have decided to spend the day in Burgos….there is so much to see and we really need a day to recover from the two weeks of constant walking. But, and there’s always a but, a Medieval Festival is in town and all the rooms seem to be booked. The Albergue we were in will only allow a single night stay, no exceptions.
Our plan is simple, get something to eat and try to get into accommodations for tonight as soon as possible. While we are eating Rafael uses my phone to call a lower end Hostel recommended by a group of German pilgrims. Rafael is successful, “They have rooms and we can check in right away”.
Way to go Rafael! You are the man!
We high-tail it to the address to discover this is a little unusual. The check-in is at one address, and the room is in a different building about 15 doors away, through a business building, and at the back, take a minuscule elevator to the tenth floor. We were able to get 2 rooms. One for the women and one for the guys… and the shared bathroom was at the end of the hall. Forget about all of this….we were just happy to have rooms. I pulled the “age card” and snagged the best bed….with apologies to my generous room mates.
Those suffering sleep deprivation were unconscious within seconds of getting the rooms and the rest of us headed out to explore the city.
Burgos has so much to see. We decided the first stop should be the Cathedral. This astounding structure was begun in the 1200‘s. Over the centuries more and more has been added to the original revealing a truly remarkable structure as it exists today. Entering the main doors is an overwhelming experience. The main hall and alter areas tower 7 or 8 stories above the floor in an impressive display of gold, sculpture, and iconic images. The power of this is obvious. The intended target were the people coming to worship. Who could not feel small, humbled, and insignificant when looking at this overpowering display.
The Cathedral is beyond words and is a completely stunning structure to experience.
The building has been added to throughout the centuries, at least one part has collapsed, and is now one of the most significant cathedrals in Spain. Honestly, I cannot urge you strongly enough to see this for yourself. I will post pictures when I get home….absolutely astounding.
After two hours of walking through the myriad of chambers and rooms, as well as a thousand pictures, we finally exit and find ourselves ready for a bite to eat.
The “nearly dead” have come to the surfaced are ready to participate in the rest of the days activities. Our plan is to visit the Museum of the Evolution of Man. One of the areas we walked though yesterday was called Altapuerca. This is where the oldest human (ancestors) remains have been discovered in caves. The finds have been dated to almost 100,000,000 years ago. Burgos has a world class museum deducted to this archeological discovery. Four floors of impressive informative displays are carefully arranged in both Spanish and English. Multimedia and technical displays are absolutely first-class. Kudos to Burgos and the Spanish people for creating this magnificent building.
Later the same night we all decide to go to “The Bar” once again. Think small, now think really small, with a million pictures on the walls. Many are mementos of visitors, others are of celebrities. The innkeeper is an elderly gentleman, the third generation to operate this bar, called Patillas, and he has pictures on the wall to prove the establishment’s DNA heritage. The atmosphere is thick, as are a number of patrons. We are basically sitting on each others knees, but we have a seat. So many are standing. The music and singing is wonderful and so intrinsically Spanish. One woman gets up and dances flamenco while singing. I will try to post some music later. There is no question why Mar…….oh, wait a minute, I almost slipped up there. My appreciation to a true gentleman in our Family for insisting we go to this bar with him, despite the fact he had literally spent the night there before.
The Cathedral, the Museum, and Patillas are the “must do’s” in Burgos.
Some of us decide to leave quite early, at least compared to the previous night. I would like start as soon as possible but the strategy is to simply get on the road tomorrow.
We also learned today our friend Rafael will be leaving us tomorrow. He will take a train to Leon in hopes will be able to make his flight home. All the best Rafael……he has so quickly become such a wonderful part of our Family.
Some of our other family members have been in touch. Ebbe and Jytte are one day ahead, no surprise, Sabine is back in Germany. (just at the Dutch border….and my apologies for my bad spelling) Ian from New Zealand should be back on the road after his feet have recovered sufficiently, and Susanna from New Zealand is a day ahead now as well.
Did I forget mention we celebrated her birthday when we arrived in Burgos.
Tim and Dave are a couple of days ahead now, how do you spell intrepid? And Jude and Will have returned to Perth….but sent us a lovely comment.
BTW, I really appreciatee the comments or emails I receive. Everything is passed onto the Family members, well, almost everything.