Doug and Dave walk the Camino de Santiago
April 10-11, 2007
USA -to- Astorga, Spain
We, Doug and Dave, met each other at the Madrid Barajas airport, terminal 2, on April 11th.
Doug flew from Manchester, NH via Philadelphia to Madrid and
Dave flew from Cleveland, OH via Newark, NJ to Madrid.
Doug arrived about two hours before Dave. We had a meal at the airport and called home.
We then took the Metro from the airport (Aeropuerto) on line 8, changing to line 6
at Nuevos Ministerios, then got off at Méndez Alvaro stop.
From there we caught the Alsa company's bus to Astorga. The bus left
at 2:30 PM and arrived in Astorga at 6:00 PM.
Both the bus line and the Metro are run very efficiently.
The Euro is the currency in Spain. The exchange rate was about $1.37 to 1,00 (Euro).
Note that the decimal point is replaced by a comma in Spain.
The bus from Madrid to Astorga was 27,55, or about $37.75 per person.
A typical Metro station. Automatic ticket dispensing machines in background.
Our first overnight was at the Albergue de Peregrinos San Javier
(Albergue for Pilgrims, St. Ignatius). The typical albergue, similar to
a youth hostel, has one or more rooms with bunk beds and separate bathrooms for men and women.
There is barely enough room for the backpacks. A few offer breakfast or coffee and snacks.
The cost was 6-8 per night per pilgrim.
Doug navigates our way this evening through the streets of Astorga. We are standing in
the Plaza Major (main square) with the Baroque facade of the Ayuntamiento in the background.
On the right is the Palacio Episcopal (Bishop's Palace) and the Gaudí Museo.
On the left are Roman ruins, including a tiled floor, near the Plaza San Francisco.
On the right is the front of the Iglesia de Santa Maria (Cathedral of St. Mary)
where we start the Camino tomorrow.