I awoke to grey skies (again) and after yesterday’s marathon I just wasn’t feeling it today. So I decided I would stop in each town I came to for some food and drink and decide whether that was the place I would spend the night. I started with tea and a croissant in Cirqueña. Then chocolate and lunch in Santo Domingo de Calzada. By the time I reached Grañon, I was done.
I walked into the first albergue I found and dropped my bag. A warm fire awaited me in the living room of an old home where beds and food are provided by donativo (donation). Now I am enjoying olives and a beer while I wait for the pharmacy to open. My blisters need some serious attention tonight.
In Santo Domingo de Calzada, I visited the Cathdral and its neighboring tower.
The town is named for the patron saint of engineers, due to his contribution to roadbuilding. He dedicated his life to benefit pilgrims along the Camino Frances, building bridges, hostels and clearing forest to make a more direct path.
The tower is 70 meters tall and climbing the 132 stairs was quite the feat given how tired I was. But the view from the top of the tiled-roofed town was worth it. And I got to see the inner workings of the circa 1780 tower clock, which continues to click away the seconds today.
The Cathedral is pretty, but similar to many I have visited along the Camino, with one exception. A rooster and hen are permanently housed overlooking the crypt of Santo Domingo. Why chickens you might ask?
Well, the legend goes that a German family was traveling the Camino and came to Santo Domingo de Calzada. A young woman took a fancy to the son, but he did not return her affection. The scorned woman hid a silver chalice in his baggage, which was discovered when he was leaving the city. His punishment? Hanging in the town square. His parents continued to Santiago and prayed for the soul of their son. Returning to Santo Domingo on the way home, they found their son still hanging in the square, but very much alive.
They explained to the Mayor, who was sitting down to his dinner, what they had seen. In response, he pointed to the two chickens in the pot on his table and said “Your son is about as alive as this cock and hen that I was about to eat before you interrupted me.” At which point, the two birds jumped out of the pot and bit him on the nose.
The rooster and hen in the Cathdral commemorate this miracle. They are removed and replaced with a new rooster and hen every two weeks. Their henhouse was built in the 15th century.
Today I walked 14.25 miles.