Day 15 (May 24) Chill Out Day in Burgos : Zero Miles
After 14 non-stop days on the trail, I threw in the towel for a rest day. My body was asking for a break. I had originally budgeted for 3 total rest days on the trek, so it’s about time to cross one off. Burgos is a great place to do that. There is so much to see, and to eat!
The day began with coffee and delicious toast on the square. As I sat, I saw Rebecca from Canada, a young friend from last week walking through. I waved for her to join me and help me eat my toast. We caught up, sharing our impressions of the trail and how we felt about being solo walkers. We both like it. No compromises. When the toast was finished, I bid her goodbye. She was moving through quickly, ready to get back on the road, preferring the natural landscape to the city.
I started off my tour day with a visit to the San Nicolas Church, a peaceful and beautiful spot for prayer and contemplation. As I was sitting on a bench, admiring the 14th C altarpiece, a man tapped me on the shoulder and motioned for me to follow him. He unlocked a door and took me and another couple into a room that was filled with beautiful tapestries.They were part of a 17th C series on Jacob and I could walk right up to them. It was amazing to see all the repair work that had been done to patch them together. Compared with the intricate detail of the original work and their beautiful appearance at a distance, the repairs looked a bit slipshod.
Then it was on to the main event, the interior of the Burgos Cathedral. Unlike Norte Dame and other European cathedrals I have seen before, this one had no large central space. It was divided into many chapels. There was a main altarpiece, but its setting was relatively small in the context of the whole. Perhaps even in its own time, this was an acknowledgement of how hard it is to fill a huge space with worshippers on a regular basis. My impression of the interior was that it was a huge display of wealth. Bishops having their own chapels built in advance for their eventual interment. Similar chapels built to honor and entomb the wealthy and powerful. Nevertheless, the work was pure gothic delight, with craftsmanship the world will never see again.
I had lunch Spanish style at 2:00 pm. Delicious fish and salad. I couldn’t resist having a slice of a 3 foot long cake that everyone was getting. It was a puff pastry that had been glazed with burnt sugar and filled with a not too sweet orange/vanilla cream. Worth the 19 miles I’ll do tomorrow. It was so interesting to watch the all-Spanish crowd, who were still pouring in the door for LUNCH at 4:00 pm. No wonder the restaurants don’t open for dinner until 9:00 o’clock.
I’ll skip dinner. Early to bed for me, given my dawn start tomorrow.