Happy Birthday Martha!
Martha is my "aunt" even though she is neither my mom or my dad's sister... You might have to be from the South to understand that relationship. Anyway it goes, she is one of the most beautiful people you could ever meet. Wish you could. She's an angel on Earth.
Okay Mert, if that doesn't get me into your will, I give up!Ha!
Astorga has to be one of my favorite cities in Spain. In fact, yes, I even think it is more enjoyable than Segovia. Beautiful cathedral, though rather ill planned, a house built by Gaudi that is actually attractive, medieval streets, cobblestone, beautiful parks, perfect weather, Life is good...
As I was on the bridge I saw this man trout fishing. I asked him in beautiful Spanish, "Hey! Ya got any?" He, unfortunately, thought I could speak Spanish and yelled back a whole bunch of words and the best I could make out is that his friend in the next picture caught a 3 kilo trout. That's about 6.5 lbs. Whoa! That's a horse of a fish!
If I see another trout stream and I'm in a good way, I'll ask if one of these guys wants to be my guide for a day. Frankly, catching a fish would probably be too much for my little heart, so I'll be happy just wading in the river and casting over and over. Yeah, I'm talking myself into it.
Finally I got to the outskirts of Astorga, which is gorgeous. It was like I had passed through every previous biome today - grapes, wheat, corn, sunflowers, hay. I will miss the sunflowers. And they will miss me...they told me so! auuugghhh! Did I mention the wildflowers?? The red poppies, blue and yellow daisies, and ...no..no... they don't talk. Of course they don't talk... that would be crazy!
I walked through suburb after suburb and finally got a picture of the cathedral on the hill in the city. Too bad...the albergues are always near the cathedral, so that meant I was going to be climbing another hill. It's okay. I'm looking forward to Astorga. They are famous for their chocolate and for two deserts - mantecadas and hojaldres - both of which I've already tasted!! Why wait for dinner, right?
They are not the best I've had. The chocolate has rave reviews from a British lady. Can't wait to try that.
The albergue I'm staying in, which is behind this pilgrim who looks more like a 49er, has beautiful music playing so I asked the manager who it was and he said it was a 24 hour mix. 25 minutes later he brings me CD copy. I love it!! In the park next to me is a band playing in the gazebo. So cool. No, really cool. The park is on a promontory and the wind is blowing a nice refreshing zephyr. (Never thought I'd get to use that word!)
Okay, now to close out Astorga with the weird and weirder:
The dish the town is most famous for is Cocido Maragato which is the typical dish of the Maragatería. It contains goat's blood sausage, ½ a chicken, pork, a pig's ear, a pig's trotter, a slice of pig's snout, chorizo, chickpeas, cabbage, potatoes and garlic. They lost me at the blood, snout, and ear ingredients.
The other is this warrior chic at a department store window. I'm sorry, but if you are going to kill me at least have the decency to wear a bra or chain mail.
If I have to choose between fighting Russell Crowe-like gladiators and a topless Amazon.... Really, you have to ask??
It would be distracting.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson