I was going to accompany Jennifer as far as the cathedral as she wanted to see it on her way out. The actual Way goes in that direction. When we stepped outside, I nearly froze on the spot: it was three degrees. I decided to pass on that little outing so we said our goodbyes, and off she went. I scurried back to my room, and donned my long johns. No shops were open at that time so I did some skyping and studied my map. I want to get to the museum but need to see if it is open today. I can't get near reception as there is a Harley Davidson meeting here, and they are all at the desk.
I stepped outside a few minutes ago, as it is now a balmy 5 degrees, to find a chemist. It appears that it is not open on Sunday. In fact nothing seems to be open. I really need a chemist, but if it is not open by midday, I might have to stay another night.
I shall try to find out about the museum again shorty. When I say museum I mean the Evalucion Humana. There are so many museums, monuments, etc that I think one would need a year to see it all.
Note. They were not looking for truffles as there were no trees. They were looking for another fungi. Mushrooms called perrochico. I asked the nice girl at the museum.
Speaking of which: I finally got a clear space at the desk, and I think the girl on duty is as bad as me at directions. She pointed East and said straight down, over the river and turn left. So off I went but found no river. So of course I asked a policeman, who pointed West and gave the same advice. It turned out to be only a hop skip and a jump away.
As I passed by my hotel, about twenty bikies had joined the others and they were all dressed in their various club colours.
Gathering outside hotel.
I Must say it seemed really strange to see such sight in a historic town like this. Anyway off I went and on the way found another chemist open. They must take it in turns, because now the one near the hotel is open.
As I approached the museum I saw that the HD club were all parked outside.
It did seem a strange juxtaposition as some of them actually didn't look too evolved.
Another climb. Up to the museum.
The building comes as a bit of a surprise as it is a massive glass structure. 6€ to enter! but 4€ for pilgrims. Luckily I had my pilgrim passport with me.
It is a really wonderful exhibition and is really well set out. It has three levels and covers all the evolution of man. The main displays are of the finds at Atapuerca but there is other finds as well plus all the Darwin information. I forget the number of complete skulls they have put together, but quite a few, plus one of a ten year old girl. I took some pics of the original bit, as opposed to the recreations, but got told off by a guide as “no picture of originals, even without flash.” Oops.
Skull and mandible. Original find.
Some animal bits.
Recreated exact replica of pieces found.
I'm sure he moved.
Must get my hair coloured.
Looking down from level three. They have plants to make up a similar terrain as at the dig.
Replica of Darwin's ship Beagle.
There is a lot of interactive displays and videos to look at. One video shows the people at the digs, with one person chipping out a piece and having an eureka moment that I had hoped to see yesterday. (That was better than nothing).
I spent about two hours poking around, and really could have spent more time but I needed to find the bus station. As I was leaving I bumped into one of the girls who I walked down to Ages with. Rose is actually Canadian, I just assumed she was Australian because she was with Sky, who is Australian/American. They too had caught a taxi and booked into a hotel last night. We will see if we can spot each other later tonight and eat together. No set plan though.
The hotel I am in is the Hotel Centro which I booked through Booking.com. The staff are really nice and friendly and it has a really nice cafe attached, where prices seem very reasonable. The room I booked was 94€ for the two nights, so just under 50€ a night. Check out time is midday which is super news. Plus I can leave my pack here while I wander the streets which is great as there is much to see.
I booked the bus to Leon for five thirty tomorrow evening. It cost 17€20 but I figure that will save me about five night's accommodation. According to the sign there is wifi on the bus!
After I had booked the bus I wandered over to the plaza area which was very busy, and as the weather had warmed up there were people everywhere wandering around. I took some photos for some people posing with a bronze pilgrim, and they took one of moi.
The cathedral taken from the museum side of the river. Framed by a chestnut tree.
One of the bridges into the town. I don't know what's with the sand castle looking facade. Nice though.
I stopped at one of the many out side tables for something to eat and the fellow said they only did tapas so I asked for a small mixed plate and bottle of water.
The object at 6 o'clock is black pudding. Apparently the region is renown for the dish. I have to say Pamplona is the winner so far when it comes to tapas. This lot was cold and greasy. I could not eat it. The calamari was tender, but very greasy. If you look closely you can see the sausage is floating in a puddle of oil. Yick. That all came to 7€
Sitting here in this lovely cafe in the hotel, I have just noticed their menu and the prices compare very well considering the ambience and quality is so nice. I might just eat here tonight.
The cafe attached to the hotel.
Midnight. (Who cares, I can sleep in).
After some time sitting in the cafe, booking a room in Leon, and writing this, I started to feel a bit scruffy as all the folk wandering in for coffees looked so smart. I decided to go for a stroll down to the Plaza. I am always amazed at how many people come out around seven. I don't think anyone cooks an evening meal as the restaurants and cafés are are packed. It is so nice to see the mix of people. The elderly, families, teenagers and little tots all out and about. One enterprising 'beggar' has dressed up as a headless sailor.
Had to pop some change in his bowl.
I was gazing around the plaza when I heard my name being called. Sky came dashing across the plaza to catch up with me. Bless her cotton socks, she spotted me from the restaurant they were in. I went back and joined them all: Matt and Mia, from San Francisco, and Rose. They were already onto mains, but I just opted for a goat cheese and salad. It was devine, and much like a deep fried Camembert, but more baked I think. The salad had a lovely rich balsamic dressing. I could not eat it all. It was 9€ plus I put in one euro towards the wine. The food was nearly as good as the company.
Everyone had decided they were going to go on the night tour of the city and surrounds and asked if I would care to go too. Ha! Does a shark have teeth. It was a very funny system for getting the tickets. The driver/owner? opened a grid in a doorway, where he accessed a ticket machine. We handed over the money, he fed it in the machine, and voila! out came the tickets. There were only the five of us but when we boarded the little 'train' five minutes later, we had to show our tickets!
Off we went and the taped tour was in English! And French and Spanish, it was quite a giggle and he obviously couldn't fast forward it, or perhaps didn't realise we all spoke English.
It was really a terrific tour and value for money, 5€. We had a lot of laughter and silly nonsense which made it so much more enjoyable. Sadly Sky had to abandon us towards the end of the tour and leapt out near her hotel. Old lady problem. When we reached the end and had disembarked, Sky was waiting for us with a lovely bottle of bubbly. A fitting end to a lovely night.
Mia and Matt had also caught the taxi with the girls yesterday, and booked into the hotel. “I'm here to enjoy Spain, and do what I can, not be a bloody martyr,” Mia said. Music to my ears, as now I don't feel so alone in not pushing through the pain.
The girls are going off to find a new back pack tomorrow somewhere out of town, so we will no doubt not meet again. A shame. I will do a little more sightseeing before I bus out.
Just some of the masonary I was able to capture on our tour.
NOTE. Gloria I emailed you but it bounced back. Can you check your email address.