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Published: September 30th 2017
Fuente Foncalada - looks more like a giant Pre-Romanesque doghouse, than anything worth seeing.
Geo: 42.5999, -5.57175
Up and off to do some sightseeing before leaving for Leon - Oviedo is famous for pre-Romanesque architecture, but most of it was not readily accessible on foot, so I decided to check out Fuente Foncalada, which was one of a few examples close to the city centre. A bit of a disappointment!
Off to the cathedral to see the inside - there's a belief that if you turn three times the key found in the hand of the San Pedro statue and make three wishes, one of them will come true. I covered my bases by wishing three times for a Spanish wife. The hole was worn out by frequent turning by the visitors, and was in even worse shape after I spun that thing around 300 times and made 300 wishes identical to the first three.
The Mercado del Fontan was a typical Spanish market, but not much was going on here this morning. Not seeing anything that tempted me for breakfast, I went to a nearby bakery. After eating, the waitress left me a slip of paper, with the number 7 written on it - pretty expensive breakfast!!! When I inquired about it, it turned out that
Needing some fruit (I'm surprised the Spanish even have a word for fruit or vegetable, given the dearth of these items on any restaurant menus here) I picked up a banana, horribly green, the peel didn't actually peel off, it broke off into little pieces.
it wasn't the price, but the number of the server. I was supposed to take the slip of paper to the cashier, where they would calculate the total. The bakery was only so-so, but I would definitely return for the clientele! One had an Elena Anaya thing going on - in other words, the pinnacle of Spanish cuteness.
Walked around town a bit, then headed back to the pension to pick up my backpack before heading off to the bus station. Coincidence - I would be sitting in seat #38, the same seat number from yesterday. I hoped for another coincidence - that the bus attendant today would also be Maria, and if not, that it would be someone equally as beautiful!
I was looking forward to arriving in Leon and checking into Hostal Bayon, because I remember when I called to book the place, the girl answering the phone had a very sexy Spanish accent. But with my luck, she's probably a 65-year old granny!
Hopping off the bus, I gathered my backpack and realized that I had lost one of the waist-strap clips! Noooooooooooooooo!!! Anybody that has a big backpack like this knows that this is the most critical
Mercado del Fontan
piece of equipment, since this puts all of the weight onto your hip bones, and takes it off of your shoulders. It was a rather painful walk to the hostal, with all the weight on my shoulders. This could really suck if I can't find a replacement!
Luckily Ana, the owner of the hostal, was able to direct me to a store that might have the clip I needed. We also had a brief chat about the economy in Spain - she's noticed a sharp decline in the number of guests at her hostal this year, especially the number of foreign visitors. Things are pretty bleak in Spain right now.
After performing some emergency surgery on my backpack and rigging up the waist-band so that it would function somewhat as it should, I quickly ate my leftover pate and bread from lunch and headed off to sightsee. The leftovers weren't enough to fill me up, so I stopped at a grocery store to pick up some snacks before heading to the cathedral. The sky spit a few drops of rain as I walked, making me rue the fact that I forgot to bring an umbrella, which could be a big
I thought this looked pretty sick - a giant window full of sausages, looking like giant meat maggots. What the heck?
problem when I get to rainy Bilbao.
I relaxed on a bench across from the cathedral, and struck up a conversation with an old local couple. They left almost as soon as we started talking! Maybe I've just been spoiled with the incredible friendliness found in Galicia and Asturias, but I didn't expect them to run off so quickly!
Leon is a great walking town, with busy little pedestrian areas, and the lively Barrio Humedo (wet district), that is so named for the high density of tapas bars and large amounts of alcohol consumed there. I've got no problem having a sit down dinner by myself, but I feel too self-conscious about walking into a tapas bar and standing around by myself. I miss my boys! We could have had so much fun in Spain had the original trip here not fallen through!
I ended up back at the cathedral, and sat on the same bench as before, and chilled once again. While not as impressive or compelling as the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, it did have a little bit of that mystic energy that seemingly pulsates in the area surrounding Santiago's cathedral. The main plaza was a bit empty and
I had difficulty choosing an umbrella at the market - should I go with Snow White, Winnie the Poo, or Belle?
tranquil, and the evening chilly. It's a funny thing ... I'm not a religious man in any way, yet I've been able to have a number of very spiritual experiences over the years of traveling. Sitting at the cathedral tonight and enjoying its splendour in silence was definitely one of those.
There is a great debate that I have almost every evening of travel, when I come across it - kebab or no kebab, that is the question! It always happens late at night, because it's a great snack to have just before bedtime! Tonight, the kebab lost 😞
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