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Monday, December 26, 2011

France/Spain 2011 - Day 10, Part 2 - León

"When a person cannot deceive himself the chances are against his being able to deceive other people." - Mark Twain

***

France/Spain 2011
Day 10 - 26th March - León
(Part 2)

While we were stuck at a traffic light, a guy with a white painted face, a silver hat and a cloak came around asking for money, as per Indonesia.

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Another 'busker' - aka the face of Youth Unemployment in Spain.

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We then took a very nice road through the mountains to León. Unfortunately it was also very expensive (10,95€).

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This was like Snowdonia in Wales

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Lake

We then hit León.

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Cathedral from carpark

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Walking up

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Cathedral from side

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From another side

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Unused entrance

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Portal

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There's something about Spanish churches - they all don't like you to take photographs. Yet, people just take them anyway. It must be a Spanish custom, and when in Spain, do as the Spaniards do...

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Stained glass

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Choir

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Altar

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Side chapel

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It seemed to be a Spanish thing to do to play background music in churches and monasteries.

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Next was a barred chamber which people were taking pictures of wih tripods, SLRs, PSPs and phone cameras, so it was obviously important.

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Barred chamber

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Who photographs the photographers?

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The large text is "nuestro padre jesus de la esperanza cautivo ante anas" ("Our Father Jesus of hope captive to anas").
The header text for the thing above indicates this is the Chapel of St Teresa

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Jesus and banner

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With altar

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Chapel from the side

I then headed to the cathedral museum through the cloisters.

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Cloisters

I managed to pop in for 5 minutes because it was closing for, you guessed it, siesta. At the ticket counter they said I couldn't enter Zone 2 of the museum (the first [second] level), but I walked up and saw anyway. In any event half of it was modern art.

The museum was not bad, with higher quality paintings, carvings and fabrics than what I'd seen elsewhere in Spain.

I noticed, in keeping with previously observed Iberian morbidity, a carved representation of Christ with rivulets of blood.

I also saw my first crucified Christ wearing a tutu (from the waist down). This was utterly mystifying.

There was also Santiago on a horse treading on Moors and Moor heads. It wasn't very realistic as it had a cartoony/caricatural effect. Actually Spanish art in general has a lot of caricatural effect.

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Museum plan

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More cloisters

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Mural

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Another mural

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Cathedral-proper from cloisters

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More murals

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Figures

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Figures and corridor

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Figure

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Stone altar (?)

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Virgin and Child

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Door and admirer

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Carved door and stone arch

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Door panel detail

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The other side of the door

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Better shots of Chapel of St Teresa

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Notice of restoration of the murals inside

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Cathedral portal

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Calle Ancha

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Wonderful opening hours. They only open for lunch at 1:45pm?!

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Crowd in some square at intersection of Calle Ancha and Calle La Rua (there doesn't seem to be a square on Google Maps - maybe it's too small)

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Calle La Rua

We then had lunch at a place which didn't open at 1:45pm, Restaurant Casa Daniel.

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Lunch menu. Spanish menus like to separate the dessert.

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Bread


Cracking the country-style (sourdough) bread. This was good bread - the best I'd had in Spain (which explains the video). Though I preferred my bread a bit whiter. Sadly the Spanish don't serve their bread with butter, even though it's rarely good enough to eat on its own.

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Alubias blancas con morcilla leonesa (white beans with Leon sausage)
Soup

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Puerros de fresno plancha con setas y queso Valdeón (Ash [?] leeks with mushrooms and Valdeón cheese plate)
It was quite bland.

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Arroz negro con gambas y sepia (black rice with prawns and cuttlefish)
Pseudo-risotto. It was very good.

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Muslo de oca confitado con manzana (Leg of goose with apple confit)
The goose was super crispy. In fact I thought it was the best confit de canard I'd ever had (I only just found out it was goose - maybe that's why it was so good)

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Morcillo de ternera a la leonesa (Veal shank Leon)

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Lomo de atun a la riojana (Tuna loin Rioja style)

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Chocolate tart

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Cheese tart

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Tart of Torron

This was the best restaurant we'd dined at so far, and we'd just walked in.
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