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León

We woke up on the morning of September 17, 2012 around 10am and hopped into the car for the drive out of the mountains to León.

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The drive was very pretty, though not nearly as ‘scary’ as some of the internet reports had made it out to be. Maybe if it had been raining or was snowing then it could be quite scary I guess.

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We arrived in León after about 4 hours driving. We were pretty peckish, so found a local bar where we had the set menu. It was some cheese soup, and fish. We then walked around the corner to our lovely hotel and checked in.

There isn’t a whole lot to do in León – but one of the must see attractions is the Santa María de León Cathedral.

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We listened to the audio guide as we walked around the HUGE building. The lady on the guide did seem to like the sound of her own voice though as she was waffling quite a bit.  It was interesting to see a statue of the pregnant Virgin Mary.

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We had a walk around town then went back to the hotel to chill for a bit.

For dinner, we went to a restaurant we had seen earlier on in the day. It was called Las Termas and we had the set menu there which was an absolute bargain, as it was quite posh food and came with an entire bottle of wine. All for only 15 euros for 3 courses of food!

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We had pasta salad with cheese and shrimp, avocado with prawns, roasted cod and grilled anchovies. Dessert was a pie with some lemon sorbet with chocolate sauce.

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Very tasty meal and we had a view of the cathedral while we were eating it also!

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Self-Guided Cathedral

Ivan, Lil Dave and I had the free breakfast at the Airbnb house on September 11, 2012.  It was a lovely spread of food: toast, tea, fruit and biscuits served outside on the porch overlooking the garden.

We said bye to Cecilia and the rest of the family.

Ivan drove us to the centre of town.  We were going to see Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar which is the biggest cathedral in Spain.

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It was massive. It’s a pretty cathedral inside.  I took a few pictures and a guard said I couldn’t take pictures. 

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I said ok and started walking and he was trying to block me with his arm from going that way.  I walked the other way and told Ivan what happened.  I gave him the camera so he could take pictures.  Ivan started taking pictures and the security guard started bugging him.  Ivan pointed to a few people who had big professional video equipment and said What about them?  He said they have permission.  You have to go to an office for permission.   The security guard kept following us around.  I don’t know why he was being annoying.  It all just seemed a bit ironic, having someone telling you not to take photos in a church, when right behind him is big cameras taking photos because they have ‘permission’. If photos are not allowed because of ‘respect to those praying’ why give permission to others to take photos…..because by ‘permission’ ‘What they really mean is ‘pay money’!!!!

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I went to a room and looked like I was going to pray and he waited outside the room.  I said you’re going to watch me pray.  I was getting annoyed. Ivan started pointing out all the other tourists that were taking photos, and at least that seemed to get him off our back.

After exiting the church we had a walk around and found a souvenir shop that seemed to be selling black baby Jesus’ and figurines of the KKK.

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We bought one.  We then grabbed some lunch at an Japanese buffet restaurant called Restaurante Sakura that was actually great value for money (unlimited food of a very high quality!)

Saw some cool graffiti while we were walking around.

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Afterwards we said goodbye to Zaragoza, and  drove to Logroño which was a couple of hours away.

Logroño has beautiful mountains.  We were staying at a bed and breakfast called La Casa Verde outside the main town in a little village with a friendly family plus some dogs. 

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We met the lady who runs it who’s full of information and very friendly. The house was lovely and the view from the porch was of beautiful mountains.

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We used the internet for awhile and then went out for dinner.

Logroño is famous for its tapas. We went on a self guided pintxos tour. 

Our first stop was Bar Soriano.  We had mushrooms stacked up high on bread with some red wine. 

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Ivan and I weren’t sure how to eat the mushrooms since they were on a stick.  We decided to take the tasty, juicy mushrooms off the bread and eat them one by one.  Lil Dave created his own version with bananas of course!

Next, we went to La Tasca del Pato where we had their specialty txangurrito.  It’s a crab cake that’s in a clam shell.  It was lovely.

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It was on to the next bar at Blanco y Negro.  Here, we tried the roasted peppers and anchoves on bread with a refreshing Florentino Martinez Clarete. 

We went to El Soledad de Tudelilla for sardines topped with peppers.  Lil Dave got the same with bananas.

Came across a random place with tapas for cheap at In Vino Veritas.  We got the delectable mussels in a red sauce.

Our next stop was Bodeguilla los Rotos where we had the yummy eel with creamy scrambled eggs in a hollowed out bread.

Went to another random spot at La Universidad and we had the boiled octopus in paprika.

The last stop of the night was another random place called Bar Charly.  We had tuna with chopped onions in olive oil.

Ivan and I were really stuffed and drove back to the bed and breakfast.

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