I am thoroughly enjoying León. The Cathedral is a gothic masterpiece with a very similar look and feel to Chartres Cathedral inFrance. This one is smaller, but basically the same design. Each of the past few mornings I have walked the few blocks from my room to the cathedral between 8:30 and 9:00… before the cafés open and the tours begin. The cathedral is quiet then, with gentle Gregorian chant playing through the sound system. You can really feel the sanctity of the space. Catholics sure know how to do “sanctity”!
Last night I wandered back into the cathedral about 8:30 to find it nearly empty save for an organist and a single mezzo soprano voice filling the space. Amazing! So pure, so clear! Very, very beautiful! They were rehearsing for a free concert tonight. I will, of course, be there!
If I am disappointed with the cathedral at all, it is only because they provide no English language interpretation. The audio guides are in Spanish only, the museum labels as well. It makes me really feel for immigrants and visitors to my country, where we make little effort to help out those who do not speak English.
I HAVE discovered that the past two mornings at 9:30 there have been private tour groups being guided in English… I have inconspicuously tagged along and listened. I learned a lot, including about an opportunity to climb to the top of the temporary scaffolding high above the cathedral floor from which the stained glass windows are being restored! Really, really cool perspective!
Tomorrow I will be moving on to Astorga… another medieval town with a building by Antonio Gaudi.
Life´s a trip!