October 9

Rest day 1 in Leon

Leon is a bright, cheerful city that is full of energy. 

And interesting buildings 

Spanish towns clean the streets with hosepipes

It makes it rather slippery at times but in this weather the water dries very quickly. 

The sunlight this morning as it shone on the clean stonework of the cathedral reminded me of mornings in snowy mountains. It was just like sunlight on snow. So sharp and crisp and clear. 

The cathedral was built in the 1200’s in a space of 50 years. It is one of the finest gothic cathedrals in Europe. When it was built the population of Leon was 5,000. (The population of Windermere is 8,000 as a comparison). How could such a small place build this? At this time in Europe there were 200 Gothic cathedrals built in one century. 

The Cathedral is a place of soaring pillars and of light:

Stained glass. There are 1,800 sq m of stained glass! That is an awful lot. This video may give you some idea of the scope of it:

How on earth does the building stay up with all that glass?

There was an unusual statue of a pregnant Mary. Most representations show her with a baby;

There was a cloister as well

After all that culture I settled down to lunch where the main course had the smallest amount of vegetables I have ever experienced:

Good job I ordered a salad as the first course: