Leon and Porma – ES

cathedralThis trip was taken on the 1st of May 2017, so since then, I don’t remember to many details. But it is the first city, outside of Galicia Provence and on road to Madrid. So I booked a ticket for the train, booked also the motel and here it is what happened:

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At some point, in the voyage, our train came to a complete halt. When I got out (after a few minutes) to check out why we stopped, I saw another train stopped just in front of us, with its locomotive, heading towards us.

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So because even our mechanic did not knew what was going on (there has been something wrong on the next station or just before it), both trains had to stay in this station, for further noticed. So I made more photos.

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In the end they told us to wait for buses to another station where there will be another train. As it turns out, the buses were for the train in the left (in the image above) and not for us.

We had local Taxis (or cabs) that drove no more than 15 minutes and left us at another train station, where we waited another on hour for the other ones to come with the bus.

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The image above, was taken from the train (close to Leon). In Vigo there is no snow all year-long, so when I saw this landscape, not so far away from my destination, I set my goal to visit it before heading back home.

As we arrived in Leon, I remembered it was very, very cold and windy. I came here from Vigo and there a hoodie and a t-shirt were just fine. Not here thou…

In front of the station (where we arrived) there was the old station, being left without tracks and windows, in preparation to be integrated with the future one.

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On road towards the motel, I saw again the mountains, so I knew they cannot be too far away.

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Due to the fact that we arrived at midday, everyone was sleeping, so we had to find the receptionist and after some 20 minutes, we could actually get in the room, and warm ourselves.

First thing we searched for, was one of the many famous Chinese stores that are everywhere and that would have everything we need. From there we bought gloves, warm hats and winter scarfs. Yep… in May.

Later we saw a bit the Parque de Quevedo that surprised us with the liliput (small) chickens that were free in it. And in big numbers also, just see the image bellow.

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As we crossed the bridge over the River Bernesga, we saw the big San Marcos church that was in repair, apart from the side with the Hotel entry.

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This building according to Wiki, dates as far as the XII-th century and suffered (like many other big endeavors) lots of changes and remakes.

Today there is also a museum inside as well as an art collection gallery, apart from just the church and hotel.

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But this church was not the indication, or the reason why I find Leon, today, (as I write this page) different from its surrounding cities.

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What is different here, is the fact the new buildings and not just old ones, keep the tradition of detail, color and bricks. Thew all have these elements.

Take for instance this group of buildings from Plaza la Inmaculada. Modern, yet far more interesting than just glass, steel and polystyrene.

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This following building was a bit far from my location, and also in a dark position. It looked like Hanging Gardens with its green tint glass and golden reflections from the sun.

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So yes, looking at buildings, inside the city, can be like walking into a huge museum. Old and new, beautifully integrated. I miss this place…

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What was more beautiful, was of course, the center region!

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An old man staying in front of a church, behind him, a young passing. On the left of the image there is a blurry alley with young people as well as a toddler.  Just another beautiful coincidence.

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Archivo historico Provincial Leon. All bricks and huge and high walls. Very impressive, but looks more like a prison, in the center city.

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We went out of the busy center, to go search for the train that would get us close to the mountains now or perhaps very early in the next morning. We headed to north side of the city, where I traced back a line that connects the mountains and the lake with Leon (as seen on the app Maps.me).

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We found this small and narrow train, stopped at the University station. We looked for someone to help us with a program and in the end we had bad news. No more trips for today, just tomorrow, but the problem was that it would mean that we risk to lose the train back to Vigo. So we headed  back to the center a bit demoralized. At least I was.

But clouds were building up and soon rain came.

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We hide from roof to roof, as the rain was coming and going and the light was always perfect for some camera action. I tried to make pictures with buildings on the reflections, but no luck there…

Here is Iglesia de las Ventas.

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Basilica de San Isidoro.

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Casa Botines and the tourist sightseeing train.

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Deputation Provincial de Leon and Casa Botines on the right side.

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The center in the night.

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Casa Botines in the night and Antoni Gaudi seating on a bench with pigeons (statue)

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A local Pub that has a very beautiful entry.

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Cathedral de Leon, viewed at night. To be honest, we did not knew we will find such enormous cathedral in Leon. At that day, it was the biggest I ever saw.

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One trick of getting the moon visible at the same time with other elements is to use gradient filters on the lenses. Zoom in to maximum, so that far objects become magnified and just after that, find the angle to take your photo. In my case I chose one of the cathedrals towers.

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Detail shot.

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Next morning, we thought to ourselves what to do next. I said that I could pay a taxi to get me just to see the mountains and the lake. So we asked the receptionist and she made some calls. For 50 euros a taxi driver said it will get us there and back to the train station in time.

For 60 km to go and to come back it sounded more than perfect.

So yeah, I got to see this magnificent landscape and the Water Electrical Plant at Porma

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On way back at Leon, we had time to eat and to do some more photos.

It truly was a special trip and Leon should be seen again, but this time for more than just 1 day (we thought for 2, but the mountain took some of that time so all we had been one full day).

We definitely recommend Leon as a visit!

MiDe.

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Plaza de Toros – Leon Arena

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