Posted by: pilgrims1326 | May 2, 2011

Day 4 Madrid to Leon

Sleep was elusive except when it was time to pack and leave. We hoisted on our backpacks (not a feminine accessory!) and grabbed our one suitcase each for the taxi ride to Chamartin Station. We sat and watched the people parade by until they posted our train. The entire Spain train thing is modern, clean, efficient, comfortable and fast. At one time we were speeding along the rails at 247 Km per hour – you figure it out – but the ride was smooth and quiet. The only problem is when you enter or leave a tunnel at those speeds your ear drums get a real workout. After two and one- hours we arrived exactly on time in the ancient of Leon. It dates to Roman times and was the base for the VII Roman Legion garrison. Leon is from the word for “legion”, and was eventually the capitol of the kingdoms of Asturias and Leon. Its history includes occupation by Visigoths, Moors and Christians.

At the top of the hill we saw the fabled gothic dream – The Cathedral of Leon – in a constant state of repair and maintenance to preserve it from the elements and time. Some pictures today but more tomorrow.

Sometime during the day we heard the news about Osama Bin Laden’s death, but could not get any details because there were no English broadcast available. After all these years the evil of evils is gone and I feel amazingly flat emotionally about it. He was an embarrassment to all that is good in Islam and he changed the way we live and trust. For years I fantasized about what could be done to him, about the friends and associates lost on those downed flights, about the horrors we know they endured, but now I just to tired to work up that hate again. Perhaps his will be the last death and now the children of Abraham – Muslims, Jews and Christians can celebrate both our common roots and our intriguing differences. To life ……!






  1. I’ve always loved the train ride from Madrid to the North. I’ve always thought, when crossing into the North, it’s a totally different country. So green, so lush. So different from the South. You can see so much of the Celtic influence here. My family has a country house in a little tiny village (only 43 residents currently there) called Sobrepiedra in Asturias. In November, we visited. On the way back, it snowed as the train headed towards Madrid. It’s a sight I won’t forget!

  2. Thanks for the wonderful update, and your choice words in regards to the news. It has been a real battle of emotions here between “joy”, “sadness” and “confusion”. As in all change of such a strong nature, that touches so many, there are many competing emotions. I am enclosing a link to a great piece that Andrew Sullivan wrote yesterday that said it for me. Loving all the updates!


  3. We say “Amen” to ending remarks about Osama Bin Laden.
    Nice pictures of the cathedral–nice effect of the night time picture.
    Thanks for the Posting, we really enjoy them.
    Love Kathy & Doug

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