Jan 19, 2010

Adieu Paris and ¡Hola Burgos!

After a delightful stay in Paris, I have finally made it to Spain.  The 14 hour bus ride from Paris to Burgos would have been quite relaxing except that the heat was cranked up after the first two hours.  People were in t-shirts, but somehow I neglected to pack any summer clothing so I had a very fitful sleep.  The last time I woke up sweating from the heat on a long distance coach was in Syria.  In that case, the air conditioning wasn't up to the job but because it had A/C the windows were all closed.  In this case, I can think of no rational explanation.  I survived.

I arrived in Burgos at 8:00.  It was still dark, there was a light drizzle, and nothing was open yet.  I suppose I could have stayed in the bus terminal and bought a coffee and some sort of breakfast there, but at that point I was eager to stretch my legs and get some fresh air.  I left the terminal with no clue where I was in the city.  The Camino map I brought with me has things like churches, cathedrals, and hostels marked on the individual city maps, but no information about bus terminals.  (Since the idea is that you're walking, that information would just be redundant.)

As I stepped out into the street, I heard a bell chiming the hour.  I followed the sound, thinking it would either be city hall or the cathedral.  It was the latter, and I finally had oriented myself.  The cathedral didn't open for tourists and pilgrims until 10:00, so I found a small cafe.  Walked in, and noticed two lean guys with backpacks and wearing gaiters having their breakfast.  We nodded to each other, and I settled myself down.

After getting the first stamp in my pilgrim's passport and seeing the cathedral (12th century Gothic, very big and a UNESCO World Heritage site) I bought a cheap mobile phone.  ATTENTION  CANADIANS:  We're being ripped off.  For 19€ I got a basic Samsung model and 12€ worth of airtime.  That should do for the local calls I'll be making.  After a quick visit to the local tourist information booth, I found the cybercafe I'm currently writing from.

Next on my agenda for the day is more coffee and then on to the nearest albergue (pilgrim's refuge) for a hot shower.  I may even be back to this cyber cafe later to upload some photos. It's conveniently located for me, although at 3€ per hour it will add up quickly if I'm not careful.

2 comments:

  1. This evening (Jan 27) I'm listening to Camino, by Oliver Schroer, which you probably know. I just read his obituary (July 2008). I hope yours won't be for Many Years!
    God bless and keep you.

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  2. Thank you, Jane. I had not heard of him two months ago, but when I get back home I'll be getting a copy of the disk. One Canadian pilgrim set a montage of his Camino photos to Schroer's music. I've posted a link to the YouTube video in my blog here:
    http://phool4xc.blogspot.com/2009/12/ultreia-camino-de-santiago-2008.html

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