Give Me a Break

It’s time to take a break. Hola Burgos!

I love this city. Something about it feels so familiar. Yes, I spent a few days here back in the summer of 2017. But even then it felt curiously known. I can’t really describe it.

Burgos is a very old city founded in 884, with a breathtaking Cathedral. A Unesco World Heritage site. I am staying right next to it in a small hotel. Centrally located to spend a few days seeing the sights and putting my feet up. I called ahead and arranged a massage. Living in Spain and understanding how things work here gives me an advantage. Waiting to book later means no massage or grocery shopping. Sunday in Spain is generally a rest day and nearly everything is closed. I will get everything done, then rest along with the populous tomorrow. After attending mass at the Cathedral, of course.

This gives me a little time to reflect upon my walk so far. Write a bit. Take some Me-time. The past few days I have walked with the same group. A German recent college graduate, a young 30-something Korean minister, and a gay South African nurse. Sounds like the beginning of a joke, I know. And sometimes we all actually walk into a bar. A motley crew. And they are each lovely, caring Pilgrims. Yet, I need my quiet too. To think my own thoughts.

It’s interesting how my perspective has changed in the past five years. I view these cities, towns, and villages as an extension of my home. I don’t feel like a tourist. When checking in to Albergues hostels, or hotels, they ask for my passport. But I present my NIE card instead. Its the National identity card. This seems to change things a bit when they learn I am an American living permanently in Spain. Inevitably they have many questions. Where? Why Galicia? How long? And finally, just ‘Why?’ My español is getting better at explaining it. I’ve receive room upgrades, help with my backpack, or even a to-go snack in the morning. ‘In case you are hungry later.’

I hear others who get frustrated with things in Spain. Times when shops are closed. When food is unavailable, or getting what they need proves a challenge. ‘Its not like back home,’ And I have to watch myself or before long I am defending Spanish culture, traditions, and national circadian rhythms. I really have assimilated more than I thought. Don’t dis my country, peeps. Not cool. It’s funny, though. I can complain about tractor deliveries (or no delivery), and a host of other things that drive me crazy on a daily basis. But I get to do that cause I live here.

My favorite was listening to a pilgrim in a cafe in a small village complain ‘It’s like there’s a different word for everything.’ Yes., Pumpkin Pie. <eye roll> Yes, there is.

Burgos will help me rest a bit after getting too much sun one day, which took it out of me. A prescription from my host that night. ‘You take a few days in Burgos to recover, Kelli’ I’m not sure how my face got so burned on such a cloudy day. Except, well, Irish. Luckily, its becoming more of a tan now. My lips aren’t bee-sting swollen anymore. Bummer. My days as an Angelina Jolie look alike were too brief. Let the peeling on my nose begin. 😩

I’ll post picks tomorrow of my wanderings around this very special city. Until then.

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