We’ve seen the landscape change quite a bit over the last week. Now we’ve left the Meseta, we’ve started to see more green and more hills. We’ve also seen some beautiful towns and cities.


After 3 weeks of walking without a break, we were starting to get a bit jaded so we decided to take a day off.

Luckily, León is the perfect place for a rest day. There’s lots to see and do.

Here’s Tom pretending not to be impressed by the pretty streets.

Tom pretending to be unimpressed by Leòn's pretty streets

Here we both are looking extremely pleased not to be walking.

Tom and Roz at dinner on their rest day

And here’s León Cathedral.

Leon Cathedral from the outside

León Cathedral

León Cathedral is best known for its stained-glass windows. They’re everywhere.

Inside León cathedral showing the windows that form the top of the main chapel

Close up the windows in the main chapel of León cathedral

Close up of a window from the entrance hall of León cathedral

Apparently, it’s good to visit at different times of the day to see how the difference in light changes the experience. We couldn’t be arsed though.

Fully rested, our next big stop was Astorga.


Astorga is another beautiful city which, like León, would be a great place to visit outside the Camino.

Its claims to fame are its palace, cathedral and chocolate.

The Episcopal Palace

The Episcopal Palace was one of only a few commissions the architect Gaudi took outside of Barcelona.

It looks like a Disney castle from the outside but the inside is more of a showcase of Gaudi’s work.

The Episcopal Palace from the front with Roz on the main steps

We really enjoyed:

The window seats that feel like they were made for having a chat.

Tom in a window seat in the Episcopal Palace

The ceilings with their beautiful patterns.

A ceiling from the Episcopal Palace showing how its beams divide it up

The main chapel and its stained-glass windows.

The main chapel of the Episcopal Palace

The palace is now a museum dedicated to the Camino de Santiago. It has some excellent Camino-related artworks and artefacts.

Astorga Cathedral

After walking 31 kilometres, we arrived a bit too late to go in the cathedral but we did manage to take these photos of the outside.

The main entrance side of Astorga cathedral

A statue at the top of one of Astorga cathedral's spires

Chocolate in Astorga

Astorga was one of the first places in Europe to produce chocolate. It has a chocolate museum to tell the story and let you sample the product.

You can read more about the history of chocolate in Astorga if you’re curious.

We didn’t have time to go to the museum but Tom had churros for breakfast. He was very smug.

Tom eating churros

Here are a couple of other excellent things we saw in Astorga.

View of the town hall in a square in Astorga

Mural of an old man having lunch in Astorga

The iron cross

One of the best known parts of the Camino de Santiago is the iron cross. Here’s Tom standing next to it.

Tom standing next to the iron cross

The cross

The iron cross is mounted on a wooden pole at the top of a mountain between Foncebadón and Manjarin.

There’s a pile of stones at the bottom of the pole. Pilgrims are meant to bring a stone from their home town and leave it at the cross as a symbol of any burdens they feel they’ve been carrying that they want to leave behind.

It was hard not to be moved by what the different stones meant to so many different people. Well, it was hard until a dude with a drone turned up.

The summit

The cross is on top of the highest mountain on this Camino route, over 1,500 metres up.

That meant we were in the clouds again.

The descent

It also meant we spent the second half of the day coming back down to a normal height.

It didn’t feel too bad at the time, but we were a bit sore for a few days afterwards.

Autumn is coming

It may be 31 degrees out but Autumn is definitely on its way. Weird.

Vineyards with autumnal leaves in the afternoon sun

Vineyards with autumnal leaves in the morning

In other news

Here our some other things we’ve seen.

Orange building with a single tree in front of it on the Camino path

Tree sitting in the middle of a Camino path split into two

Church in Hospital de Orbigo next to shadows of trees pruned for autumn

Church in Rabanal with bell tower in front of a blue sky

Orange dusty path below a blue sky

Stone house with blue windows and doors

Village house with yellow beaded curtain