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

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.


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.