Sunday, 9 October 2016

Leon - lovelier than you might anticipate...

I dont't quite know what I was anticipating Leon to be like, but whatever my unconcious expectations were, the place exceeded them. Does that make any sense at all? Probably not, we have not spoken much to anybody for days, and living with your nearest and dearest for days on end in a 7m tin box can result in being so tuned in to what each other is thinking that speech gets superceded by the odd phatic grunt as we wile our way the hours mooching about. I think we've reached the happy chimp stage. Maybe language is over-rated, we've already had proponents for a return to a paleolithic diet, why not go one stage further and propose early-hominid therapies as an answer to human ills. The world is crazy enough for a Facebook group called 'Love your inner Lucy' or something to get a few thousand hipster followers.

Anyway here you are, Leon in pictures with the odd pithy comment:

The Leon city aire is well mainained, within easy walking distance of the city and has 10 free spaces.

Opposite is a medium sized shopping mall with a supermarket.

From the aire there is riverside walk way into the city, thoughtfully providing ample scope for Leon's aspiring Bankys

Some of Leon's street artists have gone beyond  the stage of 'Love your inner Lucy'and are in touch with their inner primate,

More grafitti,(I like grafitti).

Eventually you come to an enormous Baroque monastery whose facade is so long it takes two shots

to cover its length. These days it's a a luxury Parador hotel.

Opposite it is a pleasing chunk of post-modernism pretending to be moderism. The Spanish are not coy about juxtaposing the venerable and the cutting edge - I like that, it shows confidence about the here and now.

Talking of which, half the city was taken up with a sprawling 'medieval' street market.

Lots of street food and arty crafty nick-knacks

We found a small park - next to the old walls and a welcome place to rest the feet.

There were metal steps from the park to a viewpoint from the city walls...

From which you could see...more of the medieval market.

and a Renaissance Palace..

The pedestrianised central area is full of old cafes. They were busy with people out meeting friends and family - a great convivial vibe.

Gill took this as an example of the correct representation of a gnome - she has very particular standards when it comes to gnome iconography.

Equal approval for the Tintin figures in a pharmacy (she's a bit of a Hergé afficianado too)

Leon Cathedral - is this, or the one in Burgos Spain's finest example of Gothic architecture?

I can't give you my opinion as I have not visited Burgos yet - late November maybe - I will report back....

Slightly odd, outside the historical centre, the business district looks quite East Coast American to me - I presume the buildings predate the Civil War - perhaps late 20s?

Again interesting early modern architecture...

This Union building with a 30s style frieze of workers - almost Soviet in appearance - these must be pre-Franco surely - interesting stuff.

The Leon y Castille regional 'Junta' building is just around the corner from the aire (see, we got back eventually) - It's a classy bit of contemporary architecture.

It's difficult to credit that this morning we were pedalling down a deserted cycleway in the Cantabrian mountains - some days are amazing... and even better:

Opposite the aire, a shopping mall with a large Mercadona supermarket, which we will visit tomorrow morning as, after much research, in our humble opinion, Mercadona crunchy breakfast cereals are the best in the universe, and a much anticipated delight when we visit Spain... 


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