Carrión de Los Condes

Thursday, September 16, 2021: In the Middle Ages, Carrión was a wealthy and important town with as many as 10,000 citizens. According to legend, Charlemagne camped here in his campaign against the Moors, who had succeeded in building a castle in Carrión in the 8th century.

Carrion’s population is about 2,200. There are several monasteries that also function as Albergues. We stayed at Espiritus Santo which is run by nuns. Having attended a Catholic grade school, high school and college, I had plenty of encounters with the Sisters. I expected everything to be run strictly and in order –– and it was.

This is the church connected to Espiritus Santos. We walked the circumference of the building and could not find an entrance. The Sisters must have a secret door hidden somewhere.
Doors do not open until 11:00 am sharp. In the courtyard by the office entrance, backpacks were lined up neatly as we waited our turn to enter.
Lucky me … I got the corner bed with a big window.

We had to wait in line until the Sister in charge was good and ready to deal with us. It was a slow process. Not only did we need to show our vaccination cards but they also took our temperature. Then they processed us, recorded our passport information and took our “donation.” Then we given a brief tour and shown to our rooms

This is one of the dormitories at the albergue. It kind of looks like a classroom.

The nuns don’t do bunk beds. They would pop in frequently to check on things. Lights out at 10:00 pm and they made sure of that. A couple of nuns came up to turn the lights off personally. In the morning, everyone is eager to start walking. Some people get up as early as 4:00 am. Everyone has to be out by 8:00 am.

We wandered around town. The church of Santa Maria del Camino was part of a three city art exhibit called Lux.

The cities of Burgos, Carrión de los Condes and Sahagún are hosting the 25th edition of the Lux exhibit. The objective is to teach people about the sacred art found in the countless churches in the provinces of Castile and Leon. The title “Lux” refers to the characteristic light of gothic cathedrals, famous for their impressive stained glass windows. The different landmarks hosting the event represent different architectural styles, such as Romanesque, mudéjar and gothic.

This nearby old church is falling apart and it looks as if they structurally reinforced the facade which is home to three stork nests. These nests are at least as big as eagle nests. We got up close and it’s mind boggling to see the size of these nests.

The storks nests are the only reason these church walls are still standing.
Coffee shop chit chat with a gent from Ireland.

Even though it is relatively small, Carrion is one of the larger cities and now it seems like the wheat fields are getting bigger and the distances are getting further. It’s time for a taxi.

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

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