Day 23: Sahagún to León, (Train, no walking)

I woke up this morning with two goals.  1) Go to Sunday Mass and 2) Get a train to León.  Goal #1 sounds easy enough, but has been quite a challenge for me here in Spain.  Churches are either closed or I'm trying to get to the next town and miss Mass by an hour or so.

Sahagún has several churches so I figured I might get lucky.  I was hoping the Convento Santa Clara would have Mass.  It's a Benedictine Monastery of nuns that also runs an albergue in town.  I was in luck!  They had a Mass at 9a, so I entered just as they were finishing Morning Prayer of the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours).  Mass was nice, but impossible to comprehend most of what was being said.  The nice thing about being Catholic is even when Mass is in another language, you still know what's going on and what's going to happen next.  After Mass, one of the parishioners helped me get my pack on and wished me a "Buen Camino!".  So sweet!

I headed back to my favorite bar for a pastry and cafe con leche.  The pastry was so good!  I ran into the English women again.  The bar was really full of peregrinos so I decided to go to the train station to wait for my train.  The train station was pretty much peregrinos waiting to go to León or Palencia.  I read for a bit and chilled out.  The train ticket was 4,30€.

It took 40 minutes to get to León.  Once we arrived, I helped two German cyclists get their gear off the train.  They had A LOT of stuff.  I headed towards the tourist office, got a map, then went to the Albergue.  I was really excited about it because it is run by Benedictine nuns.

I checked in and through my broken Spanish, explained to the hospitalero that I am a fan of St. Benedict and showed him my tattoo!  He thought it was pretty cool.

I settled in, doing laundry first.  This was one of the first Albergues I have been to that does not have a clothesline to hang laundry outside.  I improvised, hanging my portable clothesline between two of the bunk beds.  Then I took a shower and had a snack.  Sometimes I eat a lot of food to lighten my pack weight!  I am amazed at  how much food and water weighs.  I can always feel the difference after I eat an apple or make a sandwhich.

I didn't really have a plan for León.  I wanted to see the Cathedral for sure, so I headed that way.  The guidebook mentioned stained glass windows and how different it is compared to other Cathedrals in Spain.  I really enjoyed it.  It was not as overwhelming as the Burgos Cathedral.  It was much simpler.  The stained glass windows were AMAZING.  So beautiful.  None of my pictures do it justice.  I wish I had my DSLR with me sometimes.  Then I remember how much it weighs and I am okay with my Canon G10.  :)

There wasn't much else open because it was Sunday.  I went back to the Albergue to see if I could find someone to go to dinner with.  I ended up with two Canadians, a Brazilian and two Italians.  I knew the Canadians from back in Boadilla del Camino.  For 9,90€, the menu included 3 courses, plus bread, wine, and water.  I had tortillas de patata, bean soup, pork chops with patatas and natilla for dessert.  It was very good and I was able to finish my meal and not feel like a glutton this time.

I went back to the Albergue and promptly fell asleep.