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Sightseeing (and a little stroll)

P1000433I’d promised my feet this was going to be a rest day but I don’t think they entirely believed me.

Sightseeing was top of the agenda, specifically Burgos Cathedral which dominates the centre of the city. It’s one of Spain’s biggest, a magnificent gothic building modelled on Notre Dame in Paris but with a lot of add-on chapels paid for by local bigwigs over the ages which make it look a bit lumpy and squat from the outside.

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Inside it’s grand, lavish and impressive and I sat for a long time in a pew, writing my journal and reflecting on what medieval pilgrims would have made of this place as they walked towards it and entered through the grand doors.

The art and architecture created to glorify God is ornate and spectacular. I wondered however if stopping here fortified pilgrims as much as a simple, intimate parish church like Grañón? And if (as I did) they sat in this vast space in their humble clothes and questioned the significance of such opulence after the glorious solitude of the mountains, the dust of the road and making do with very little but the pack on their backs? Or if they were totally overawed and even more inspired to continue their journey to Santiago after stopping to worship in these surroundings?

My feet were itchy. I collected my backpack from the luggage store in the Cathedral Office, changed back into my boots, applied some sun cream and put on my hat. It was 4pm, late in the day to be setting out, but my camino buddy had saved me a bunk in Tardajos just 10km away and I was ready to leave the noise of the city streets and be within striking distance of the fabled Meseta the following morning.

Image 2Once through the suburbs, I had the path all to myself and didn’t see another pilgrim in the two hours it took to walk to Tardajos. But I found a message scribbled in the sand that made me smile and hurried me on my way.

There would be a large cervesa waiting at the albergue for sure.

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