Sunday, August 3, 2014

Home of El Cid, and a beautiful cathedral

Hello, everyone.

On May 31 we arrived in the large city of Burgos. I mentioned that we walked around the airport runway. I think there was only one runway, but from your own feet it's hard to tell. Certainly we walked along for a long time, clinging to the left side of the road, hoping no cars would get crazy and hit us. One car did stop unexpectedly--in front of a bicycle rider that they apparently knew. It was family reunion time for a while.

There is supposed to be a fresher, greener way into the city that goes along the river, but we missed the turn. It was just as well. I needed to make a pit stop in the worst way, and right at the edge of the suburb (Villafria?) was a coffee shop. Cafe leche for two, and where is the ladies' room please? Another timer controlled light. (I think all of the public toilets in Spain are all on light timers. Sometimes you can't reach the light switch to turn it back on from the pot. This gets awkward.) Then there was miles of sidewalks passing empty warehouses, empty car dealerships, etc. etc. and at one point, when we were in the city, we felt very lost. Surely we'd missed the turn? But we asked directions of a passerby and were corrected. There was a lot more walking yet. We did eventually find our way to the old city. And after two failed attempts we found a space at the ______ Apart-hotel. This was a tiny efficiency style apartment/hotel room with a dorm fridge and a hot plate and a TV and a bathroom and a table with a couple of chairs next to the bed. The shower had one of those uber-fancy spray arrangements with about 7 squirters scattered along the length of the pole. Sheets! Our own bathroom! Luxury.

Now I know why old men were hunting snails! They were selling these--live and lively!--snails for 9 euro a kilo.

The cathedral of Burgos. (Limo with a wedding in progress, I think.)

Center of a pavement sundial

Dome of the cathedral

The Renaissance stairs, and on the left, the silver carriage used for Corpus Christi processions

The Renaissance stairway was built because when they rebuilt the cathedral and needed more space, they ended up cutting away the side of the hill and lowering the ground level by 8 meters. The old street level door was suspended in air, so they brought in a spiffy Italian architect (well, I guess he was Italian) and made a grand staircase like one that Da Vinci or someone similar had made in an Italian city. The doorway is not in use any more, but the staircase remains to be admired.
The silver carriage is stored next to the stairs until it is brought out for big processions like Corpus Christi.

More on Burgos tomorrow, including some more on El Cid!