Day 15: The King and I
One of the things you are starting to forget during a multi-day hike like the Camino is the simple fact to know what day of the week it is, let alone the day of the month. Some days are different however today, for instance, it was clear to me that it was the 30th of April (is it a Tuesday?). Already at my first break in Mansilla de las Mulas in a bar for a coffee the television was on, like they often are, loudly dominating the bar. Normally I don’t pay attention, but today’s newscast was about “la Reina de la Hollanda” and it were the first news elements about our Queen Beatrix stepping down and her son Willem Alexander taking over. Chauvinistic elements make me watch the news and stay longer in the bar than normally.
On the next stop in Puenta Villarente in a Panaderia the television is not on, but I am receiving a nearly live report from my family through WhatsApp. My goosebumps moment is there when my wife sends the “now” message as a signal that Beatrix has signed her abdication and from that moment on Willem Alexander is our King.
I continue my journey across the wet landscape to León. This morning it was already raining when I left the Albergue and it will not stop until I am in the next one. León is a nice city, but I only stay for lunch as I have no desire to look around a wet city during siesta time. But from what I see of this city and its people it is definitely a city for the bucket list of cities to see.
During my lunch break in León, the TV is on again and a nearly live report from Amsterdam tells me that Rey Guillermo Alejandro and Reina Maxima are now legally King and Queen of the Netherlands. It is interesting to see that the Spanish news channels even translate the name of our King to their own language (so I guess I am Pedro for the locals). In a quick check on CNN, I see that the English speaking channels leave it to Willem Alexander and do not change it into William or something else in their writing.
Again I continue my wet journey and around 15:00, after 34 km and 8 hours, I sign into the next Albergue. Tomorrow I will be leaving the city area again for the countryside. So today, what day was it? Actually, it was for the next coming future our last Queens-day!
The King and his family …
… and I, a wet Peregrino.
The cathedral of León.
Another 306km to Santiago, so in the past two weeks I walked already 484km.