Saturday, July 2, 2016
Astorga to Rabanal del Camino
After breakfast, we walked down to the chocolate factory. Walking through Astorga, every other shop is selling chocolate or ice cream or sweets. It turns out that Astorga is the Chocolate Capital of Spain. In the past, there were 400 artesanal chocolate-making “factories” in Astorga. Once mass production machines came on line, the number of these small factories decreased, but there are still six workshops in Astorga making chocolate in the old way.
Astorga has a chocolate museum, which both James and I visited. It made me think. Chocolate comes from Mexico originally, but I don’t remember ever seeing anything like this chocolate museum in Mexico. Maybe there is one, but if so I never came across it.
It was very interesting to learn how chocolate is made. The Astorga chocolate connection evidently goes back to Hernan Cortes, who offered chocolate as part of his daughter’s dowry when she married into a prominent Astorgan family.
We had lunch in a cafe in the town, where we again ran into Tom from Germany. (This is our second Tom from Germany, so now we call the other Tom “Tom from Frankfurt.”) This Tom is traveling alone and has kept pace with us for several weeks, and we regularly run into him. It was this Tom who suggested yesterday that we visit the chocolate museum. Great suggestion, Tom. Thanks.
Then, following lunch, the hotel called a taxi for us to go to Rabanal del Camino. Our taxi driver was the same one who had driven us to the emergency room the day before. He was very knowledgeable about the region and told us about the Camino in this area.
Steps Today: 6,897
You can see more photos on our page for July 2nd:
July 2, 2016: Astorga to Rabanal del Camino