Between the outskirts of the city and the heart of it—where the glorious cathedral stands tall—is an ugly industrial zone that stretches for a couple miles. I saw Xavier, a pilgrim from Tazmania, standing at a bus stop after I had been walking through said industrial zone for a solid twenty minutes, and smartly joined him on the bus into the city. We found a bar next to the municipal albergue and drank the local wine, talked Hemingway, football (his family has roots in Newcastle), and the paucity of girls our own age—give or take about ten years–on the Camino.
I walked back into the city, and as the sun set I looked for a place to grab dinner. I found a Michelin-rated bar featuring affordable yet masterfully crafted plates, and had six pinchos plus a glass of wine for just 12 Euro. As luck would have it, just as I was making my way back to the albergue to settle in for the night I ran into some fellow pilgrims I hadn’t seen in a few days, so I followed them to another bar nearby and had dinner, round two. That seems to be a recurring theme in Spain, and I’m not at all unhappy with it.