Last night we took a walk and the streets were packed, a typical Saturday night in Leon, reminiscent of Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics.
We're making Sunday a true day of rest ending with the evening pilgrim's mass and blessing. As we're intending to be off our feet for most of the day I though it would be a good time to write about life in Spain.
Pillows: I'm familiar with North American pillows and the square ones used in other parts of Europe, but in Spain, the pillow fills the entire width of the bed and the case is open on both ends. So this means if you are in a room with twin beds, there are two pillows. If you have booked a 'matrimonio' room, it means one bed and one loooong pillow that requires cooperation with your partner. Another example of it not being as romantic as it sounds.
Supermarkets: this one was about 10x10, the only show in town, and the fine print on the sign indeed dubs itself a supermarket. Chips, as advertised, were half the stock.
Of course there are larger ones, like we are accustomed to. When we visit WA we shop at a store where you can pick up a specially made black fabric bag to tote home six bottles of wine, which we've been known to do. In fact we've accumulated quite a collection of those bags and have repurposed them as tool or shoe holders.
Here in Spain they have bags made out of the same black fabric to tote home your whole cured leg of pig. They are delicious but take up a lot of counter space, as they need no refrigeration. Remember those acorns I posted about recently? The piece de resistance in cured pig leg comes from acorn fed pigs.
Lost in translation: some things foster unfortunate associations.
And speaking of shopping, in the smaller stores, the clerk picks the fruit and veggies for you. There are often signs of reminder "No tocar las fruitas!" In a larger grocery store you may pick your produce, but you must wear plastic gloves. And don't forget to weigh and tag your purchases prior to heading to the checkout. Seems like an efficient system to me.
I think in Spain there must have been funding opportunities for two things. The first is metal sculpture. Every town has at least one example, many of pilgrims over the ages. The second is for upgrades to bathrooms at the various forms of lodging. Even most of the oldest hostels have up-to-date facilities.
Evening update: the pilgrim benediction was truly a moving moment for both of us. We feel more than blessed as we continue our pilgrimage to Santiago tomorrow, leaving the big city behind.