Today something sweet awaited me at Astorga. You guessed it, it was a chocolate museum. But before I could wonder among the sweet delights I had to walk 19 km. For the most part it I walked on red dirt pathways.
Early morning delights
The sun rises later and later, a sure sign that it is Fall. It was also quite nippy this morning. It was -2C when I left at 8 a.m. One of the advantages now that the sun rises later is the marvelous sunrise pictures. They are a sweet treat.
La Casa de los Dioses
A little more than halfway between Hospital de Órbigo and Astorga a gem awaits – La Casa de los Dioses (the house of the gods). This is a haven for pilgrims and for a donation you may take some of the refreshments. It is also here where I first ran into Marie and Maria, a Dutch girl and a German girl who I’ll meet often from this point one.
The Sweetness at Astorga
I arrived in Astorga well before noon. I decided to eat a little something sweet and enjoy a latte before I went to the hotel. Astorga has a rich history . It was first a Celtic settlement and later it became an important Roman city. Christianity also have roots here; and legend says that both Peter and Paul preached here. In the 5th Century the Visigoths ruled the city. In 714 the Muslims took over Astorga. Ordoño I reconquered Astorga in the mid-9th Century. With so many pilgrims going to Santiago, Astorga flourished and housed 21 pilgrim hospitals. One of these hosted Saint Francis of Assisi on his pilgrimage in 1214.
The cathedral in Astorga dates back to the 15th Century and features an impressive Baroque façade and one of the best Renaissance retablos on the Camino, which was completed by a student of Michelangelo and Raphael.
Another site to see is the Palacio de Gaudí, the palace for the Archbishop Juan Bautista Grau Villespino. In 1963 the archbishop’s palace became the Museo de los Caminos. Here you’ll find a great collection of religious art.
And how could I resist the Museo del Chocolate? It was interesting to see the display. And to buy some chocolate.
All in All, it was a Sweet Day
Even though my tiny toes froze a little earlier today and I wished I had a pair of gloves, the day was a delight. I enjoyed the colours of the sunrise. It was a delighted to see the tan lines on my feet. I enjoyed the change in scenery and elevation. Astorga provided a plethora of visual stimulation with all the art.
This made me think. God also give us a lot to enjoy, sweetness in life, even when life gets a little cold or we come face to face with an uphill or some other challenge.
This post was originally written on October 10, 2017. Now, after almost time of reflection, it has been updated. To read more about my journey on the Camino de Santiago please click here.