Route: León – San Martín del Camino
Distance: 26 km (Total: 454 km)
Another beautiful day of my pilgrimage is coming to an end. With Henry we could be much further along the way but we are not rushing anywhere. I am planning to reach my destination of Santiago de Compostela by March 6. My intention is to spend at least 24 hours there and then take the train to Madrid, from where I am flying back to Poland on March 8.
As I am writing this post I am singing different songs in various languages at an nice albergue in San Martín del Camino, Albergue Vieira. I highly recommend this place. Ms. Amalia, who runs this place, has a heart of gold.
This morning in León was pretty lazy. That’s one of the pluses of staying at a hotel. You do not have to check out until noon, so todo tranquilo …
Nevertheless I got up in the morning to write the post about the previous day, as it got a bit out of control. That’s the result of good food and wine. This is absolutely one of the benefits of pilgriming and visiting Spain. Both food and wine are outstanding here!
Leaving León at noon we had a sense of time well spent there. The place is definitely worth visiting. Marvelous architecture, nice people, good food and wine. I am pretty sure this is how heaven will look like.
After a couple of kilometers we finally leave the city climbing over 1000 m a.s.l. This is almost a norm that most of the cities lie either in a valley or on a hill. We can experience that literally going into or leaving a city. And they do not seem so big after all when you walk them.
After a couple of kilometers we reach an interesting place, i.e. the Sanctuary of La Virgen del Camino. This is a place of St. Mary’s appearances to a local shephard Álvaro Simon in 1505. As a side note, this is pretty consistent that most, if not all, of the marvellous appearances such as in Fatima, Lourdes, Guadalupe happened to simple and poor people.
Though my stomach is still somewhat full after yesterday’s feast we stop for late lunch after 2,5 hours of marching. One of our favorite dishes is Lentejas, i.e. lentils soup. Often times it is served with a piece of chorizo. In that bar they would not have it though. I remembered though that I still had some leftovers from yesterday. So I asked the cook to slice it into our soups. Yummy, yummy.
As we continue our journey suddenly I see a sign on the wall. It is less than 300 km to Santiago. So it seems downhill from here but actually we will have some uphill hikes still ahead of us.
At the end of the day we come to a cozy albergue, I mentioned at the beginning. How little is needed to make a great atmosphere?! This sounds like a good topic for tomorrow’s meditation.
Meditation XVII. Light.
„You are the light of the world–like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Mt 5, 14-16
Today’s visit to the Cathedral and admiring of its spectacular stainglass windows suggested a topic for meditation. Light. Besides, it is Thursday today, so the Mysteries of Light to be said during the Rosary.
Walking around the Cathedral I wonder why they would put so many stainedglass windows in the churches in the Gothic times? It turns out it is very symbolic. Light is the symbol of life and God. Makes sense. But what does it mean to be the light of the world?
Since Light is the symbol of God, the appeal seems clear. So that we become, through our own example, a reflection of Him on Earth.
This is such a hard thing to do. They have to stand out in a good way, which will make you many an enemy. We do not like people who are too good. We do not look great against them, in their light. And such a ray of light may lighten some dark corners of our own sould.