Camino Rest Day 2 – Burgos. Blimey!

Thursday 31 August 2023 – We’ve had a day to decompress after the long walk yesterday and so despite yesterday’s exertions we went for a walk. Obviously.

Jane had mapped out a few Things To See and so after a very ordinary hotel breakfast (after probably the least comfortable bed of our time on this particular junket) we headed out into the streets of Burgos, which is a very handsome city.

The first stop was the cathedral, Santa Maria, which is brain-bogglingly big, and inside so extraordinarily sumptuous that I actually felt a bit offended on behalf of all of the people to whose benefit the money involved in creating this edifice did not go. But it may be that my jaundiced view was as a result of a poor night’s sleep.

Catholic cathedrals are intended, designed, to inspire awe. I found that the completely over-the-top Sagrada Familia in Barcelona did inspire that in me to some extent. Santa Maria, not. But it was still interesting to look round – and the infrastructure to guide tourists (signage, app for audio guide, etc) is very well designed and implemented.

The thing has over 12 chapels, for God’s sake! (see what I did there?), amazing stone working and other fascinating aspects.  Rather than bore you with the many, many photographs I took, I have put some of them in a Flickr album; click the image below if you would like to look through them.

Santa Maria Cathedral, Burgos

Here are a couple of photos to give you a taster.

Wandering around outside gives a few views of the place and surrounding items of interest.

The Santa Maria Cathedral is on Santa Maria Plaza, and access to that is through Santa Maria Gate.  Looking at it from the square, you see something substantial.

Walk through it and look back, though…

From there, one can walk along the Paseo, a pleasantly shaded green space

with a bandstand

and lots of statuary,

including that of four kings, who can also be seen on a bridge at the far end of the Paseo.

For the record, these are (in alphabetical order) Alfonsos VIII (1155-1214)  and X (1221-1284), Fernando III (1199-1252) and Enrique II (1334-1379). Just so you know for the quiz later.

There’s another significant figure enstatuated round the corner – El Cid, the honorific for Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, a Castilian knight and warlord in 11th-century Spain.

There’s a huge amount to see wandering around Burgos, as befits somewhere that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Castile. Much statuary both modern and ancient

varied street art,

imposing gateways and churches,

St. Stephen’s Gate

St. Stephen’s Church

a tourist train,

and ancient city walls.

There is also a castle; we tried to get in, but it was closed. That exercised me sufficiently that I walked the 200 steps back down to the hotel to get my drone to walk back up the 200 steps to take a photo of it,

so you can now understand why it was closed. On the way, though, one passes a fantastic viewpoint over the city.

which I think is the best way to leave it – too much to see to do a splendid city justice.

We’re back to the walking thing tomorrow – 21km to Hornillos del Camino, on the first trek across the second third of the Camino – the Meseta.  The forecast is for a chilly start but a warm finish and it will be interesting to see the how different the landscape is.  To find out, check back in at some stage, won’t you?

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