Travels - Links to each trip

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Camino Postlude - Vacation Days

After reaching Finisterre and Muxia we had completed everything we had planned and it was time to adjust back our normal life. Werner decided to leave on Friday and we took him to Finisterre to catch the bus to Santiago and from there to Barcelona to spend the weekend with his son Sebastian who lives there and then continue on his flight home on Monday. I was also able to retrieve my poncho which I had inadvertently left in the albergue the day before. This all worked out well and then Christa and I returned to Cormé for a few days of rest and relaxation. On our way back to Cormé we stopped in Vimianzo for Christa to get some lace supplies at the crafts center in the castle and while we were waiting for it to open we found a donkey and three dogs tied to the fence in front of the church waiting patiently for their owner to return.
It took me a while to adjust and on Friday I walked the 7 km round trip from the apartment to the lighthouse to get some exercise. The weather on Saturday was cold and rainy most of the day and I never made it out again except to get some supplies at the local shops and to go out with Christa and Ute for a meal.
Since the weather was not pleasant we decided to leave on Sunday and head towards Madrid a day early, hoping we would find warmer weather.
On Sunday morning we loaded the car and set off, reluctantly leaving the beautiful, but cold, Costa del Morte. We found that part of the road to Madrid would pass close to the Camino in several places, one of which was near O Cebreiro, the mountain where we had experienced the snow and fog. The weather had cleared and Christa and Ute immediately agreed when I suggested we make a detour to the mountain. It was only about 5 miles out of our way.
We arrived there with no problems (this time) and it was beautiful. The views from the top were stunning.
It was so different and I didn't recognize anything.
I looked in the little church which I didn't even know was there since it was so foggy and snowy last time.
There is a baptismal font from the 9th century there.
Then I wanted to see where I had been before in the snow but since I didn't recognize anything I had to ask one of the pilgrims there enjoying the sunshine where the trail arrived. She showed me and I followed it back a few hundred yards to where I remembered I had taken a photo last time I was there. It certainly looks different now!
What a difference.
I also took a picture of pilgrim statue which I found again
What a difference the sun makes. But if the weather had been like this when we were there before what would we have to talk about?
Soon we were back on the freeway. Later we stopped in Astorga for lunch and then continued on to Avila, an old walled city for the night. This is also the city at the highest altitude in Spain at 1,100 meters above sea level. It was very interesting and Christa has written about it in her blog. The city is completely surrounded by the city walls and has a very impressive cathedral which also makes up part of the old city wall.
The city is alive with several churches, restaurants, shops and houses and apartments all on the narrow streets.
Lots is storks nests on roofs and church bell towers and even construction cranes.
We took a walk along the wall, it was a beautiful day. Finally sun after the clouds and rain of the past few days in Galicia.
We spent two nights here and then we headed on to Madrid for the final night, staying near the airport before flying home on Wednesday June 5 after an incredible experience.