Walking the Camino de Santiago from Leon to Santiago
We arrived in Sarria after a beautiful day of walking in the warm Spanish sun (finally)!!! It certainly was a welcome change from the cold and windy weather we have been experiencing. Clearly excited by this weather and by the curiosity to do as the locals do (although one local actually looked at us as if we were crazy), three of us decided to venture down to “O Chanto”, a park type spot along el rio sarria, to go for a swim. Nikos was brave enough to take the first plunge into the incredibly cold water. I soon followed, and, eventually, we were able to coax Kirstin in as well. It certainly was an interesting (and incredibly cold) experience, to say the least.
Our albergue, Los Blasones, is located in the city’s historic district, making us feel as though we are in a beautiful and quaint european city. But, in fact, unlike many of the other locations along the camino, Sarria is a rather big city, boasting a population of about 14,000. It is one of the largest cities in the Provence of Lugo in the region of Galicia. Sarria was founded in the 13th century by King Alfonso IX. He officially founded the town because it was a conveniently located stop along the Camino de Santiago. But, history notes that King Alfonso actually founded Sarria because of the wonderful hunting opportunities the area provided. And, interestingly, King Alfonso died in Sarria while on pilgrimage. Because of this, Sarria has many images and statues dedicated to King Alfonso. Arguably this bit of history is one of the most celebrated and important aspects of Sarria’s Camino history.
After exploring the historical aspects and monuments of Sarria we began to explore the modern city. One welcome discovery was that Sarria has many clothing stores, allowing Ben (who has managed to scatter various articles of clothing around Spain) to buy some new clothes. Here he is modeling his new, as he calls it, “european” outfit (which actually looks more like something a 17 year old Californian would wear to the beach…sorry Ben). Fingers crossed he won’t leave any more pieces of clothing behind…..
Another welcome discovery was that Sarria has many supermercados. Our group gets incredibly excited about the presence of supermarkets because we have turned out to be quite the cooking aficionados. We even made a delicious fruit salad and somehow managed to cut all the fruit with hunting knifes…
And, before continuing, I would just like to publicly apologize to Dr. Myers on behalf of the entire group, for there certainly are worse snorers along the camino – aka boys from San Diego. Repeat: Dr. Myers is no longer the problem.
Anyway, while trying to escape the cacophonous snores of the Californians, a few of us blew up birthday balloons for Alex. We then ended up hiding the balloons in the men’s showers (for some reason we thought the shower was the safest location). Eventually, a German man wrote a note saying the shower was broken to make sure no one would enter. So, luckily, the balloons made it through the night and this morning we threw them on Alex’s bed to wake him up. HAPPY 22nd BIRTHDAY ALEX!!!
Today is also the Feast of Corpus Christi. To celebrate this feast day, the main road outside our albergue was covered in a beautiful rose petal, sand, evergreen and sawdust carpet.
Here are some other pictures from our time in Sarria!!!