I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Love Affair




Leon! Wonderful, magical city! I walked there on 3 December from the old, walled town of Mansilla de las Mullas where I'd met up with 3 more pilgrims in the albergue: Sebastiane from Mallorca, Marco from Italy and Philippe from Luxembourg. They had formed a strongly bonded pilgrim group. I saw them all again eating lunch in a restaurant on the outskirts of Leon.

Leon! I liked it the instant I saw it spread out before me from the hill above. You know how you can get an immediate, spontaneous gut-feeling about a place? Well, I got that about Leon. As I wove my way down the lively streets it turned into a full-blown love affair. There was an indefinable quality about Leon I can't adequately put into words. Its haphazard mélange of styles - Roman, medieval, Renaissance, Gaudi, modern - somehow all worked. The raffish charm of Leon crept into your heart in a way the civic magnificence of Burgos didn't. Burgos was the dutiful wife. But Leon the abandoned lover.

The photos show the splendour of Leon's Gothic cathedral.

2 comments:

Paul Webster said...

Yes, we loved Leon too. Somehow the historic buildings didn't overwhelm the modern life of the city. One day I will return - and stay in the wonderful parador which was once the San Marcos pilgrim refuge. I've never seen a more beautiful looking hotel.

The Solitary Walker said...

And lots of pligrims I met felt the same way... What is it about that place? I, too, shall definitely return.