I lay on the bunk in the Albergue until the hospitalier came and told me I had to be out by 8 am. So, I got up and quickly stuffed my clothes in my backpack because I had already booked two nights in the Norte Lourdes hotel but check in was not till 12 noon. As I was getting my boots on, I noticed Aussie Joy sitting on the bench, so I went over to have a chat with her. She was looking for a pension to stay for the day as she was suffering with a large blister on her left foot. We were talking about our travels and once again we were shooed out by the hospitalier. I know they only have a few hours to prepare rooms before the next on slaught of pilgrims barge in the doors.
I put my boots on and trudged down the street to the hotel and asked if I could stow my backpack till 12 noon. They happily agreed. I was sitting in the lobby posting yesterday’s blog because the Albergue did not have WIFI, and a gentleman came in to leave his backpack for the morning. He was from New Zealand and was walking to Leon where he would meet his wife and continue on to Santiago walking and busing. He was going to the bus depot to check bus schedules for the Meseta and I asked if he would kindly pickup a schedule for me. We agreed to meet up at 6 pm so I would have this information.
I set out for the Plaza Mayor in search of a breakfast that contained protein. I ended up at the Plaza Santa Maria and enjoyed a late breakfast of fried eggs and blood sausage along with two cafe con leches. Just as I was asking for the bill, I noticed three women passing on the far side of the plaza and around a corner. It was the Fab 3 from England! I hurried after them and caught up to them just as they were going into Abba Burgos to enquire about a room. They too were spending the weekend in Burgos and were looking to find a room. I told them where I was staying and left them to resume their room search.
While I was waiting for my room to be ready, I walked up and down, in and around the many streets of the old town. Burgos is El Cid’s territory. He was born here in 1048 and served as commander under King Alfonso VI. El Cid was exciled because of differences with the king and went on to conquer Vallencia in the south. There are seven monuments to this historical commander throughout the old city. The most noble is the bronze where he is in battle form upon his steed.
Another monument in honor of El Cid is Solar del Cid. The three ladies in the left of the monument are the Fab 3.
The Arcos de San Martin – this arch was created in the late 13th century by Moorish artisans and this was where the pilgrims of long ago left the city on their way to Santiago de Compostela. This arch was also the entry into the city for the Castillan kings until the 16th century.
I passed the Murallas – the walls of the old city leaving from the Arcos de San Martin. I passed the monastry and convent but these were enclosed within a wall. I walked by the Plaza de Cadtilla with a beautiful urn fountain.
As it was nearing 12 noon I headed toward my hotel. As I passed by the Albergue, there was a lineup of pilgrims waiting for the doors to open. And, in the lineup, we’re the Fab 3. They decided to spend one night in the Albergue and then get a hotel room for Sunday as Lydia is heading back to England via Madrid leaving Doreen and Chris to finish the El Camino as a duo. I kidded that I could take Lydia’s place but her shoes are awfully big to fill.
I asked at the hotel if they knew where I could get a massage and the receptionist said being Saturday that the possibilities were slim. I went to the place where she suggested but it indeed was closed. I passed a pharmacy on the way back to the hotel and asked if they knew where I could get a massage. They called one place but it was closed. They gave me the card with phone number for a physio. Once back at the hotel, I asked the receptionist to call and see if they were open and if it was possible to get a massage. Since it was nearly two, I was told that if I came at 5 pm, I could get a massage. I passed the three hours by washing my clothes and resting. Bless the Physiotherapist who gave me the massage. It was truly the best massage I have had. I don’t know all the instruments she used but I think there was some type of ultrasound sending tiny jolts into the muscle, plus hot and cold packs and scented oils and creams. It was the best three hours of the day!!
As sundown was fast approaching by the time my massage was done, I walked up the hill to the castle ruins where there is an excellent view of the city and surrounding area.
It was after nine as I walked down the hill into the Plaza. I was looking for a chocolate dessert but could not find any but I did find a chocolatier and had four chocolates with a cafe con leche. I headed back to the hotel weaving thru all the Burgos residents who come out at night to sit in the plazas and the bars. As I turned onto the street of the hotel there was some awesome violin music coming from the bar adjacent to the hotel. As I walked up, the street musician was playing Nessun Dorma. This was the perfect setting to complete a joyously, delightful birthday. I wanted a Cava (sorry Frederik, I didn’t want to buy the whole bottle) so I settled for a glass of white wine and enjoy ed the classical music of the street musician.