The Meseta

Due to time constraints, Theresa and I skipped the Meseta when we walked the Frances in 2017. We are excited to discover this unique piece of Iberia.

The Meseta is a geographical area within the region of Castilla and Leon – the largest region in Spain. The Camino Frances crosses The Meseta between the cities of Burgos and Leon. The flat land glimmers with golden wheat and flocks of sheep. There is an endless horizon and wide open space. Sun is full strength — there are very few trees and very little shade.

The Meseta – endless horizon and wide open space.
First stop is Real Monasterio de Las Huelgas, which translates as “The Royal Monastery of Pleasures.”

My Camino guidebook says, “The Monastery was built in 1175 by Alfonso VIII who transformed one of his palaces into a luxurious convent where widow noblewomen could retreat from the world in decadence. Today an order of nuns live there and guide visitors on tours.” The Santa Maria la Real de Huelgas” guidebook says the word “Huelgas” was misinterpreted and it actually means, “Idle”. The Monastery of Idle?

The convent was built first and then a church followed in the early 13th century. There are three chapels fashioned by Muslim artists.

A beautiful walkway wrapped around the cloister. We were allowed to take photos outdoors but not indoors. In one of the chapels is a statue of St. James that has jointed arms that move. One has a sword in it and was used during rituals to tap the kings on the shoulder when they were dubbed as knights. Only St. James is worthy to knight a king, even if it is a statue.

The oldest part of the church is the Romanesque cloister.
We’ve barely started walking and it’s time for lunch.
This is Templade salad filled with shrimp, bacon, mushrooms and cheese. We’ve seen this on a few menus in the Meseta but have never had it before in Spain.
Back on the road again. The Camino leads us through a park.
This is one of the churches we passed on the way.
Fellow pilgrims, Jorg from Munich, Charisa from Italy and Max from Belgium. We were all heading for Tardajos.
A long road ahead
A lovely assortment of weeds adorned the trail.
This weed had strange white things …
… taking a closer look – they are snails. Very odd but interesting.

This is our final destination … LaFabrica. It was an old flour factory turned in to a Hostal. It features exposed stone walls and wooden beams.

Our room had unique decor and an extra large bathroom.

We enjoyed a very nice dinner at the Hostal’s restaurant. A nice couple from Germany joined us. They were also walking the Camino. A nice finish to a long day.

Published by janeinspain.blog

Jane is a resident of Browndale neighborhood in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

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