Day 24: León to La Virgen del Camino, 8.7km

05.10.2010

Today was pretty uneventful.  I walked just under 9km to a suburb of León.  I am still seeing how these new insoles are going to work and didn't feel like walking to Villadangos del Páramo.  I was able to do laundry, take a nice hot shower and wander a bit.

I went grocery shopping and on my way back to the Albergue, I stopped to see the Sanctuary of La Virgen del Camino.  I think this church is one of my favorites so far.  It was built in 1961 over the site of the old church.  It has a very modern, Vatican II feel to it, except they pulled the altarpiece from the original church, built in 1730.  When you walk into the church, it feels and looks very much like a modern Catholic church you would find in America.  Except when you look towards the altar, it looks like any other ornate altarpiece you would find in any old church in Europe.  The original shrine itself was built in 1505, with the recent incarnation less than 50 years old.  It's quite amazing how they were able to combine the old with the new and make it work so well.  I hope the pictures I took do it justice.

I made it back to the Albergue and was going to make a bocadillo for dinner but ran into Julia, a girl from Italy I had met in Terradillos de Templarios.  She's from Northern Italy and speaks fluent German in addition to Italian and English.  She invited me to join her and two Germans (Nicole and Nelly) for dinner.  I agreed, but only if she let me bring something.  I had a loaf of bread to share.  We had potatoes with hamburger meat and a salad with wine and bread.  I also met another Korean woman and a Danish woman who I enjoyed talking with.  It was a very enjoyable evening and the Albergue was great.