Camino de Santiago Day 7: Leon to Astorga, Spain

This is the bishop's palace in front of the cathedral designed by Gaudi.
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Camino de Santiago Day 7: Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela

Day 7: Leon to Astorga, 45 kms.

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Leon to Astorga is only 45kms. on well-paved roads but I wanted to keep this stage short for I was conserving my strength for the difficult mountain climb starting tomorrow. So far am doing okay but I’m worried about my legs if they can take the strain.

Rolled hay in the fields I cycled past.
Rolled hay in the fields I cycled past. Leon to Astorga, Spain

Leon to Astorga, 45 kms.

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Facade of the Astorga Cathedral.
Facade of the Astorga Cathedral.
This is the bishop's palace in front of the cathedral designed by Gaudi.
This is the bishop’s palace in front of the cathedral designed by Gaudi.

I left after having a nice and slow breakfast of ensaimada, cheese and two cups of brewed coffee at the cafe next to the hotel. The waitress gave me a slice of cake on the house while wishing me Buen Camino! When you’re a pilgrim, you get extra perks – they may be small ones but the kindness is heartfelt and the gesture much appreciated. I fished out for Euro coins in my money belt which I wear around my waist and realized that I didn’t have much cash with me. Actually, my needs are small and my biggest expense is usually for the albergue bill for a night’s stay which does not exceed 12 Euros at the most.

The waitress gave me extra bread in the small restaurant in Leon where I had my breakfast.
The waitress gave me extra bread in the small restaurant in Leon where I had my breakfast.
The cathedral's lattice-like ceiling design.
The cathedral’s lattice-like ceiling design.
Old Roman walls line parts of the city.
Old Roman walls line parts of the city.

Some hilly sections came into view near Villadonga but it was an easy traverse after getting used to cycling on flat land for three days now. Back in Kuwait when I started practising, 20 kms. was a killer ride but now it’s just a small blip on the route. How things have changed!

The albergue where I stayed for the night.
The albergue where I stayed for the night.


Hilly road somewhere around Villadonga.
Hilly road somewhere around Villadonga.

Astorga is a small, pleasant town with Roman origins that showed through massive walls standing around the place. The cathedral is an excellent place to visit and so is the bishop’s palace designed by Anton Gaudi – the same architect who orchestrated the huge Sagrada de Familia cathedral in Barcelona which is still being built 120 years till now.

Beautifully detailed entrance door to the cathedral.
Beautifully detailed entrance door to the cathedral.

Unfortunately, it started raining when I pedaled into town so when I found an albergue, I was dripping wet like a rag doll! It was still early in the afternoon but with the bad weather, I didn’t feel like exploring the place some more.

An altar in one of the chapels on the side.
An altar in one of the chapels on the side.
I just had to stop and photograph this sculpture of a peregrino on the move!
I just had to stop and photograph this sculpture of a peregrino on the move!
It was raining as I cycled into the town of Astorga.
It was raining as I cycled into the town of Astorga.

After a quick dinner, I went back to my room to have a nap. There were two of us sharing the bunk bed but my roommate was probably enjoying the night out somewhere  so I drifted off to sleep peacefully and quietly all by myself.

Note: This was my daily journal throughout the pilgrimage route which took all of 12 days from Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela.

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