A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Thursday, 7 February 2008


I loved Astorga. It's where the Via de la Plata from Seville joins the Camino Francés. At one time there were 20 pilgrim hostels at this spiritual intersection. I stayed at the Albergue San Javier, which was one of my favourite refuges along the whole route. A welcoming man dressed in dazzling multi-coloured clothing and with a beard and a bicycle pointed me there. It's in an old part of town in the shadow of the cathedral (1st pic) and Gaudi's Episcopal Palace (2nd pic). It was some sort of feast day - I forget which one - so the streets were brimming with life. The albergue - a beautifully restored old building - was warm and friendly, with a kitchen and log fire. I recalled what this area used to be like in the 8th century: a battleground between the Moors and the Spanish king Alfonso I of Asturias.

Despite the cathedral's magnificence, what lingers most in my memory is the Museum of Ham (Museo del Jamon) shown in the 3rd pic.


Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Hilarious. I thought I was in Mexico for a moment!

The Solitary Walker said...

Mexico! Now there's a place I'd like to go...