I’ve been without wifi for a couple days so have much to catch up on. First, Brian continues to improve, still has the cough, but that is also improving. An email to nephew Jim Hamilton with the State Dept. In Taipei lead to a contact with a very helpful connection at the American embassy in Madrid, in case we need help with MDs who speak English. We are so grateful! Jimmy is on his way to New Orleans to celebrate their common birthdays on the 19th. Happy Birthdays!
So before we left Astorga we visited the Cathedral. They are so overwhelming! This 15th century cathedral is said to have one of the best Renaissance retablos along the Camino.
It’s hard to choose what pictures to include as everywhere you look is something else impressive. Here is a special picture for Fr. Peter the Jesuit priest with the Catholic Worker from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in SE San Diego who gave us our Pilgrim Blessing and wonderful send off.
Our Lady of Guadalupe:
And don’t forget to look up.
And of course more beautiful stained glass windows.
In one chapel on the side I saw the burial of three Red Cross nurses martyred during the Spanish Civil War. I looked up information about them on the Internet and learned a tragic story of how they were serving at a forward base hospital that was about to be overrun by Francos forces. The soldiers abandoned the post but the nurses and a doctor, I think, refused to abandon their patients. They suffered a very tragic end at the hands of Francos forces, the leader of whom was finally put to death for their deaths. The 1930s were a very bad time for Spain.
On a more up beat note here’s a very good statue of St. James.
The local tourism office was very helpful in figuring out our next step. From Astorga the Camino goes up over one of the highest mountains, Mount Iraga with one of the high points of the Camino in more ways than one. We had already missed The bus to Ponferrada that day and the next one wasn’t for another 4 days so the only alternative was a taxi. We also decided that we didn’t want to miss the Cruz de Ferro, so we decided to take the taxi to the small town of Rabanal. We went down to the taxi queue to arrange for the next day and were very fortunate that Antonio was the first cab in line. We arranged for him to pick us up at 10 the next morning. Walking home we got ice cream cones as it was really hot. We sat in the plaza in front of the hotel and spent some time talking to Franz from Amsterdam (not Yost) a delightful psychotherapist. He was biking the Camino.
The plaza and a picture of our hotel with our laundry drying in the window.
And finally I forgot to add a yummy dinner we had one of the nights in Astorga. I had pork chops and Brian had trout caught in a local stream.