MM 4-17 Gandhi on the Camino

We arrived in Santiago on a rainy Friday evening and on a cloudy but dry Saturday morning we left our hotel after breakfast and climbed to the Plaza Cervantes on top of the hill and then walked down Rua da Acibecheria, the final leg of the Camino, to attend the 12 o’clock Pilgrim’s Mass at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.  It was a short walk past a plethora of souvenir shops and soon we found ourselves on the Praza da Inmaculada facing the north facade of the Cathedral. And there we ran into Mahatma Gandhi.

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Outside the Castle of the Knights Templar

The Castle of the Knights Templar (Castillo de los Templarios) is number one on the sightseeing list for tourists who come to Ponferrada. We explored the castle’s exterior on day # 2 of our three-day stay in Ponferrada this last May and came back on day # 3 to tour the interior of the castle.

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MM 4-16 The Castle on the Hill

One day during our three-day stay in Ponferrada this last Spring we walked around the Knights Templer Castle and I took a lot of photos (naturally). Then we walked down the hill and across the bridge and made our way to the riverside. My wife wanted to check out a flea market and I wanted to take more photos, including this one that will be my entry for this week’s Monochrome Madness Challenge:

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The Plazas of Ponferrada

Ponferrada is about one-third the size of León and has about one-tenth as many bars and also about one-tenth as many tourists. We walked all over old town Leon and crossed perhaps twenty plazas but in Ponferrada we only visited two and we crossed them every day. Here’s a breakdown of our daily walk:

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Where in the World is Ponferrada?

Pilgrims who are following A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino Santiago by John Brierley while they travel along the Camino Frances in northern Spain start Stage 1 of their journey in St Jean Pied de Port on the French side of the Pyrenees and reach Ponferrada in the El Bierzo region of the province of León by Stage 25. Eight more days to Santiago. With a population nearing 70,000 Ponferrada is the largest city between León and Santiago. It’s also the capital of the El Bierzo region of the Province of León. The Rio Sil runs through the city and pilgrims had to cross the river on a bridge that the bishop of Astorga way back in the 11th century reinforced with iron to accommodate all the traffic to Santiago. Ponferrada was named after this iron bridge (from the Latin pons – bridge and ferrata – iron).

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MM 4-15 Seasons Theme: A Spanish Poppy in Ponferrada

The poppies were blooming when we visited northern Spain this last May. I took this shot when we were wandering around the Knights Templar Castle in Ponferrada one day. It will be my entry for Leanne’s Monochrome Madness Challenge this week and her Seasons theme.

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Lia’s Favorite Ponferrada Photo

I was processing my photos of Ponferrada the other day with Adobe Lightroom when Lia, my nine-year-old granddaughter who is about to enter the fourth grade, came in and asked me what I was doing. So I showed her a few photos and she told me that this one was her favorite:

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