With a restless need for travel, I have been to a number of countries in Europe. That, combined with a master’s in history, has given me the conceit that I am fairly well-educated and well-read. Why, then, had I never heard of beautiful Burgos before walking the Camino de Santiago? True, it is not a huge city – the entire metropolitan area numbers about 200,000 people. And the approach through industrial areas and barren airfields can be dismal. I was coming from the east, and pre-warned about the dull walk, I opted to take the river route. Placid streams, strolling couples, and floating waterfowl were better companions than choking smoke and the whir of machinery.
The outskirts of the city were crowded and dense, and for a while I despaired of enjoying myself in this city. But as I made my way into the old quarter, I was pleasantly surprised.
First, the view of the spectacular Gothic cathedral from the river
Then, drawing closer, statues of El Cid, the ever-popular Spanish hero:
A noble medieval knight
And a weary pilgrim, nearly naked. I was better clothed than he, but I could identify with his fatigue.
Monuments stand tall
Though if you look closely you can see that storks have taken them over as well.
Until at last you come to this castle-like gateway, which leads to the cathedral and the old squares and gathering places.
Further wonders awaited me, as did the bittersweet parting of my traveling companion. I will save these for the next post, though.
If you’ve missed any of these photos, feel free to backtrack over here.