Oh, Oh! I’m Off The Camino de Santiago in León, Spain

April 27, 2012 — 8 Comments

When I entered León, it was three-thirty and later than I had hoped. I had walked thirty-six kilometers, and the last ten were very challenging. I was happy to arrive and wanted to make the best of my time. My goal for the night was the suburb of La Virgen del Camino, about ten kilometers away, and I had to allow enough time to get there… From Page 128, Camino De Santiago In 20 Days. Needless to say, I was a little shocked when I arrived at the municipal albergue in León, about two kilometers off the Camino de Santiago.

Now that I was off the Camino, I wanted to make the best of my time. I wrote on page 129, “I thought about backtracking but wanted to see something different. The Plaza de Santa Ana now would be my destination, but my map didn’t show most of the city streets. A man in a business suit was eager to give me directions, and I followed his lead but soon realized I was headed back to the albergue. I turned around, and after walking many blocks, I arrived at the Plaza de Toros, not where I had intended.”

Now, I’ll continue with my journey on the Camino de Santiago in León, Castilla y León. On my last post, On The Camino de Santiago in León, Spain, when I arrived to León, it was cold and starting to rain. It was far different than the sunny morning I had when I left El Burgo Ranero, several hours earlier. The roundabout at the Plaza de Toros had this metal sculpture to commemorate León’s anniversary. Coming from Canada, it was hard to believe that I was in a city that had been established for 1100 years.


The León Arena or Plaza de Toros de León had a classic look. It was built in 1948 and was once used for bullfighting. Now, it’s a modern arena used for basketball and concerts. The seating capacity is 10,000.


I can’t quite remember where this sculpture was, but I think it was at, or close to, the San Francisco Jardin.


This fountain was in the San Francisco Jardin.


A side view to look at the fish and other details.


Although I don’t think it was old, this was one my favorite sculptures that I saw in Spain. I wrote on page 129, “My favorite sculpture was of a bearded shepherd with his arms outstretched as he looked toward the heavens… I sensed I would be looking toward the heavens too, if I didn’t find the Camino soon. I didn’t know how much extra I had walked, but I was exhausted.”


These ancient walls were in a more modern part of the city.


Examples of 20th century architecture in León.




This BBVA building may be older.


I’m not sure which Iglesia is on the left, but it’s obviously older than 20th century.


This beautiful building is the Casa de los Botines, designed by renowned, and important Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudí. It was built in the 1890s and was a home and a warehouse. Today the Spanish savings bank, Caja España, owns Casa de los Botines. For more information on the life and works of Antoni Gaudí, please read his Wikipedia page.


Next to the Casa de los Botines, was the 16th century Palacio de los Guzmanes. Construction of this Renaissance building was never finished. Today, it houses the León Regional Government. In 1963, the Palacio de los Guzmanes was declared a national monument.


This fountain was in the plaza near the Casa de los Botines and Palacio de los Guzmanes.


After a short walk, I was in the old city of León, and back on the Camino de Santiago.

By the time I made it back to the Camino, it was late in the afternoon, and it was rainy and cold. I was hungry and dead tired from walking at least four or five extra kilometers. However, I certainly didn’t want to miss any of the Camino, and proceeded to walk back to where I had left it. That, will be my next post, Back On The Camino de Santiago in Leon, Spain, To San Marcos. Please join me.

If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle and Kobo. My Goodreads page has reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.

About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.


8 responses to Oh, Oh! I’m Off The Camino de Santiago in León, Spain

  1. Great post Randall. No wonder you are tired. Writing this blog and re-living it takes a lot of energy. Your photos are gorgeous and work well with my reading your book. Thanks for sharing them.

    • Thanks so much. Yes, I hope the the photos and blog accompany my book. However, I also hope they both can be independent of each other. Not every photo or scene is mentioned in my book, and many thoughts, ideas, and interactions are not mentioned on the blog. Glad you’re enjoying it, both my book and this blog.

  2. The old church in Plaza Santo Domingo is San Marcelo, built in the middle of IX century. Interesting that you noticed it, bcs it was formerly a pilgrim´s “hospital” or albergue.
    Always following your posts with pleasure.

    • When I went off the Camino in León, I wasn’t always sure where I was because my map didn’t shown much. Most of the streets and almost all of the features weren’t on my map. That is why I have trouble referencing most of the buildings. It proved to be a very tiring day, but I’m glad I had the chance to see a different part of the city. Just seeing the arena and the roundabout with the commemoration of the anniversary was exciting. Added to that, was seeing the different gardens and sculptures. Thanks for your information and insight. It’s always much appreciated.

  3. Hello Randall,
    if you want to have a rest near León, you can come to our place. It is about one hour far away from León, in Salas de los Barrios (5 km from Ponferrada). We have a beautiful house from the XVI Century with several rooms available, bodega and restaurant.
    Let me know in case you are interested.
    Wishing you all the best in your way!
    Best regards,

  4. Jorge, thanks for the offer. If I was on the Road, I would stop by for sure. I’m blogging well after I returned home. I hope to return to Spain soon. I checked your website and photos of your place look wonderful. I’m sure I could do a blog post just on your house and area. All the best to you and your family.

  5. I know this is very late after your Camino, but just wanted to say I loved your book, my husbands mother came from Leon so we holiday there yearly, although we haven’t had the courage yet to do the Camino, but we will but not in 20 days!!! Hoping your well sending best wishes xx

    • Thanks for the kind words, Kim. Glad you enjoyed my book. The Camino will be there when you are ready. Leon to Santiago would definitely be a good length to walk. You can always take a little stroll one day to the outskirts of Leon to get a little feel. Thanks for stopping by and I wish you the best. Buen Camino 🙂

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