Oh, Kathy, I am thinking of you! Arrived in the city of Burgos to a medival festival and market in honor of El Cid. All of the vendors, all of the town dignitaries, and all the participants are dressed in medival costume. This includes men, women, children & horses. You in your robes would fit right in! There was a reenactment of El Cid’s flight from Burgos to Valencia. I think the time period was not quite right, and some of the details were off (I doubt El Cid’s supporters had mobile phones), but you would have loved it.
We ended up having a great view of the preparations for the reenactment, but didn’t see the official one. As the courtiers, their horses, their ladies and children moved across the bridge an elderly woman out in her Sunday best came over to tell us we needed to move to in front of the cathedral to see the battle. She then proceeded to speak dramatically and energetically act out the whole story, puffing out her chest and arms to demonstrate the size of the caballeros. She wielded her imaginary swords and ran us through to show how El Cid massacred the Moors. Threw her head and arm back to show them dying in agony. She swept open the imaginary ventana and jumped to demonstrate how the espousa (El Cid’s?!?) jumped out the window onto the horse to escape. Encircled arms of her caballero caught the leaping woman. It was amazing.
Good day for reconnecting with folks unseen for a couple of days including Sun-hwa and Yuni (the Koreans), Phillipe & Helene (the Bretons- who I probably won’t see again as they are taking the bus from here to León), Brian and Lauren (the Americans from Kansas), and Michelle. Veera and Eduardo. Nando is here but I didn’t see him.
Veera jumped off a haystack yesterday and managed to cut her chin so badly Eduardo put her into a taxi and took her back to a doctor in Belarado where she got stitches. She still feels lousy and will stay in Burgos a few days.
At the outdoor market I bought two yummy chunks of hand crafted cheese from León (and then an olive-wood handled knife to cut it with). The cheese vendor also sold teeny cups of chunitos, some type of mulled liquor, which of course I had to try.
When I ran into Michelle and Veera we decided to eat together, so bought some bread and local wine (Ribera del duera) and chocolate to go with the cheese for a fine feast. The woman at the wine store went across the square to a bar to get us plastic glasses to drink out of. She also opened the wine. (I notice at the bars here you do not order vino tinto, you order Ribera tinto or Rioja tinto.)
After dinner we played the tourists and took a night tour of Burgos by tram. It was great and the highlight was a stupendous view of Burgos, its ancient buildings & city walls illuminated, and the rising full moon.
The day began and ended with amazing views, early this am a stunning simultaneous sunrise/moonset. Then we had a grand view of Burgos as we begin our descent towards the plain in Spain (where the rain mainly stays).
For the last two days almost every conversation I’ve been in started with the other person asking if I was going to avoid the tedious 8k industrial entry into Burgos by taking a bus (never even considered it). It was a moot point because the necessary busses evidently don’t run on Sunday at the desired time (the next topic of conversation). I found both topics exceedingly tiresome so again enjoyed walking alone. Weather again magnificent for walking and light more interesting because there were clouds. Except for walking on pavement I quite enjoyed the walk through town (past a paper factory founded in 1865). Did get confused coming into town. At one point the arrows pointed in two different directions and while I was wondering what to do next Yves, from Quebec, came along and I stayed with him until he ran into the friends he had gotten separated from, a couple of Swiss women, Irene and Lila, and an English man, Andy, and they stopped for lunch.
As usual, town markings iffy so when I bumped into Frank & Kirsten I walked with them to keep from getting lost. The albergue here opened fairly late in the afternoon, and there was a long line of backpacks and tired pilgrims sitting in the street, leaning against the albergue walls until they let us in.
4 Oct 2009