Sunday, June 13, 2010

Asturga - back in the rain...

Yep, the rain is back. I should´ve known. WHY did I buy a bathing suit in Leon?? I jinxed it! I haven´t been in a pool, on a beach or similar for, ah...., yonkers, and then I go ahead and buy a bathing suit?! Big mistake........
I was just before entering the province of Galicia, which supposedly looks like Ireland. Well, no mistake there, the heavens opened and I strolled into Astorga in the pouring rain. Just one big difference to the first two weeks in the rain: my hat isn´t rainproof anymore...! Yes, I had it washed in Leon with all the other clothes and it never occured to me that the water repellent could´ve washed out! Well, let me tell all you hat-washers out there: water repellent won´t stay on your hat once you wash it! So, instead of the rain dripping from the rim like before, the hat lovingly soaked it all up and then dispersed the water evenly over my face where it dripped off the nose and chin. Why I insisted on wearing the hat all the way to the albergue I honestly don´t know. It would´ve made no difference if I hadn´t worn a hat at all.
I can´t really tell you much about Astorga as I didn´t get much of a chance to see much. There is a great cathedral again, the outside of which is rather baroque, while everything else here has been mainly romanesque or gothic. The cathedral (like everything else here in Spain) wouldn´t open before 5pm. There is also a bishop´s palace, built by Antonio Gaudi between 1889 - 1913, which looks rather like a Disney castle, and he again modelled the Cinderella castle on the bavarian castle of Neuschwanstein. The Gaudi palace ranks as Art Noveau, so I decided to better be a bit impressed. To be honest, I liked the inside way more than the outside. It also opened at 5pm. I needed some food, and - urgently - some water repellent. The shops open, you guessed it, at 5pm. So WHAT does a poor pilgrim do??? If I go shopping first I can´t see sights. If I see the sights I go hungry and wet. You always have to do the shopping first. And it´s not that I just know by some divine intervention where the frack to shop for water repellent in Astorga...... A lot of time was wasted looking and asking around, and then... a stupid bank machine swallowed my card! So I started running to the police, making phonecalls, all with absolutely no effect. I was on the mobile phone, getting transferred for 20 minutes by NatWest resp. Ulster Bank from `not-responsible´ to `don´t-know´ to `haven´t-the-faintest´ before I reached the right person, who then hung up on me by mistake. I can´t wait for the bill. So, I decided in the little time I had left to check out the Gaudi Bishop´s Palace with it´s Camino Museum inside. And that´s all I know about Astorga, sorry guys! Apparently there is a good bit of a roman house to see, a chocolate museum, couple of churches, but at least I know where the police is. Anyone interested? To relax you all, it turned out fine the next morning. I went to the bank which surprisingly opened at 8.30am and they found my card in the machine. No money had been deducted and when I tried it again it worked fine. Still sore at that machine though for ruining my afternoon. Ah well, "Drop the thought!" All´s well that ends well :)


  1. Hi Aenne, Sorry to hear about the rain. I did know of Gaudi's bishops palace, like all work by Gaudi its quite impressive. Very annoying about your banking card, but relief you got it back. I hope the rain eases sorry to rub it in but we are having lovely weather. Safe journey! Tom

  2. Cheers Tom! The wheather hasn´t been getting any better I´m afraid, not til Astorga anyway. But here´s hoping! Yea, heard from Gary that Dublin has lovely weather, ah, well, that´ll change when I come back - I´m known for carrying bad weather with me. BUT...., maybe that´ll change after I arrive in Santiago?? ;))