A Not-So-Gaudy  Gaudi

Friday, July 1, 2016
Hospital de Orbigo to Astoria
Day 31

We had a lovely breakfast on the terrace overlooking the Hospital de Orbigo jousting field. Then, off to catch the bus to Astorga.

After checking into our wonderful hotel right on the Plaza Mayor in Astorga, we booked a taxi to go to the emergency room to have James’s foot looked at by a doctor. It’s official: he has plantar fasciitis. The doctor prescribed strong Ibuprofen, a cream for foot massages, and above all rest for his foot. With the doctor’s orders ringing in our ears, we deposited James back at the hotel while I went to visit Gaudi’s  palace and the cathedral.

When I lived in Barcelona so many years ago, I regularly saw Catelon architect Gaudi’s unfinished cathedral. I didn’t care for it that much. Like Michener preferring  Romanesque to Gothic, sometimes I prefer plainer rather than flamboyant, and in my opinion Gaudi’s cathedral in Barcelona just takes things too far.

It was therefore a pleasure to see the restrained lines of his Archbishop’s Palace in Astorga. The palace now serves as a museum, and is filled with wonderful artwork.  Items from the Roman period are consigned to the basement, as perhaps is fitting for an Archbishop’s former place of residence. There is a room with every sort of Santiago statue that you can imagine: Santiago reading, Santiago riding, Santiago praying, etc.  I also visited the Astorga cathedral and its museum.

On the way back, I bought chocolates for James and an Astorga pin for my cap.

Dinner on the plaza in front of our hotel allowed us to watch the mechanical figures on the clock tower of the municipal building strike the quarter hours. What a treat, to balance the bad news about James’s foot.

Steps Today: 11,367

For more photos of Astorga, please see the page for July 1:
July 1, 2016: Hospital de Orbigo to Astorga

Author: Camino for Boomers

I am the owner and editor of Bayou City Press in Houston, Texas. As a Foreign Service Officer, I lived and traveled all over the world for 33 years. My new book is "Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It's the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike."

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