Thursday, November 2, 2023

LEÓN, SPAIN - Cathedral

Drove the 120 miles north from Valladolid to see the famous Cathedral of León. 
Spend the night, returning the next day.

Our early morning departure was delayed 
as the street out front was closed with police barricades, for a marathon?
Cannot get the car out of the underground parking garage.

It started small... only a few participants with light rain,  
my first thought is, well this won't be long! Then we'll go.

But the number of walkers kept growing...

and growing. 

We later heard on TV it was a fundraising walk for finding a cure for cancer. 

There was a challenge to see which city could turn out the most participants.
The larger city of León had 24,000 walkers(?).

Valladolid, being a smaller city, had somewhere between 48 - 60 thousand 
persons participating, depending on which TV station you wanted to believe.
All helping to raise money for more cancer research. 


Finally, we were able to leave, now under a downpour of rain.

The national roadway system in Spain is modern and well-maintained. Finding gasoline does require some planning though, as stations are not found at every crossroads. Worse though is finding a place to eat.
The selection at the few gas stations was severely limited.
We drove into small towns along the way looking for a place to eat. 
Tried several restaurants, but since we did not have reservations, sorry was their reply.
They must be for locals, as with all the variables involved with highway travel, 
who can make a reservation for lunch down the road?

Seems a decent 24-hour fast food place would be a welcomed addition along these highways.
Or maybe the labor laws don't allow that?

Arrived in León, but figuring out how their slightly different traffic flow worked was a bit of a challenge.  
It is very organized and obviously well-thought-out. Look at the clean precise street markings 
and direction arrows in the photo below. 
 It's just that we are not familiar with León's system.

After checking into our hotel, we set out walking to find the Cathedral.

Find it we did, after a twist or turn or two to get there.
Here is the proof!

It was now late in the day, the cathedral was closed, which was good, 
as I have an ethical hang-up about paying to enter a church.
Blame it on my Midwest Methodist upbringing. 
There might have been some Quaker or Mennonite way of thinking mixed in there too.

Yes, it was cool that day.

Amparo thought the father & son statue was pretty cool.
Father admiring the Cathedral and the son looking at a huge open plaza 
with lots of room to run and play.

Nearby was a small pizza café where we could relax and get a bite to eat.
We thought León was very clean, like all of Spain. 
It is much more commercial or business-oriented than Valladolid.
It is the economic powerhouse for the region.

Reflecting on the two cities, Valladolid is more compact, an easier walking city that has kept many of its old cobblestone streets. It has a longer history of religious, cultural, and artistic events since it was the home of the Spanish Court for several years before they decided to relocate back to Madrid.

We only hear Spanish walking tour groups on weekends outside our apartment, as the guide lectures in front of the cathedral and the University of Law building. Yet to hear English language tour...

From our hotel window, León's blue hour just before dawn.

The next day we returned to Valladolid. It's the first time in two weeks
 we have taken the rental car out for a drive. All of the essentials in Valladolid where we are staying 
are within walking distance 
. Finding parking spot there is a challenge. Is much easier and faster to just walk.

Tomorrow, November 1, All Saint's Day, is a national holiday in Spain. 
Most businesses will be closed.



  1. Buenos días, Jon, aquí nos tienes viendo tu blog a Carmen y Benito (los que conversamos contigo en la plaza universidad al lado del padre de la novela moderna: ¡CERVANTES!). Nos gustan tus fotos -recordamos lo que nos dijiste sobre la luz, destaca muy bien en la imagen, así como lo bien conseguidos que están los encuadres-; divertidos e interesantes tus comentarios reales y 'fantásticos'. Seguiremos leyendo/mirando otras entradas de tu blog. Saludos para tí y ¡Amparo! (un bello nombre con un bello significado). y buen viaje.

    Post Data: escribes en una de las entradas del blog, la de León, que Valladolid fue "durante siglos" capital de la Corte ¡sólo fueron 4-5 años!, lo que duró una operación inmobiliaria que tenían los aristócratas de aquella época entre manos ¡bussines reales! Salud!

    1. Estoy encantado de haberlos conocido en la Plaza esa día en Valladolid. Que lastima que nuestro tiempo allá se cumplió la semana siguiente. Hoy estamos otra vez en nuestra casa Tejana.

      Ahora me falta escribir sobre la manifestación que vi ese día por la Plaza Mayor. Tomé muchas fotos de las banderas y la gente.

      Ojala vosotros seguir corrigiendo mis datos históricos.


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