Camino Day 25: Villanueva de Campeán to Zamora

The albergue emptied out rather quickly this morning as all were excited about the short hike (18km/11 miles) into the walled city of Zamora. It’s funny how distances like these become negligible when one averages between 30 and 40km each day. But, as expected, there are always those who do more and those who do less than you. We’ve met walkers for whom 18km would be a full day and others who average 40-50km each day.

As tempting as a rest was, we decided not to take this opportunity, but to continue on to the day’s destination. (Talk about random!)

This columned Camino marker has become one of the standards of this section of the Via de la Plata. The metal hiking crook with attached gourd and scallop shell signify the Camino pilgrimage.

And flatlands like these are the current standard. Still, we should enter into Galicia within a week and will have some significant climbs before reaching Santiago de Compostela. Oh, and if you’re keeping track at home, we’ve got roughly 15 days left until reaching Santiago on our 40th day of hiking.

Don’t worry, though, there’s plenty of time to stop and smell the … wildflowers? Yep, we’ve been walking through fields of them for quite some time. This is definitely one of our continuing joys about this particular Camino. Just seeing and smelling wildflowers throughout the day has helped along those seemingly endless stretches of farmland.

Oh, and amazing walled cities like Zamora have been pretty cool, too.

The Puente de Piedra or Stone Bridge dates back to the 14th-century. Although not all fit into this picture, the medieval bridge has 16 arches.

Zamora is also home to a plethora of Romanesque churches. As we’ve mentioned before, these structures are notable for their very slim windows and extremely thick walls that thin with height.

This is a very simplistic chapel inside of a convent we chanced upon.

Much larger in scale, the Cathedral of Zamora is a 12th-century Romanesque church that was once protected jointly by the city walls and a nearby castle.

Its main altar is quite simplistic, yet spotlights a beautiful marble relief. Mikey thought it rather imposing given its austerity and narrow scale.

We also snapped a picture of the dome. Mikey really likes presenting these three-dimensional spaces as flattened geometric designs.

Speaking of designs, the cathedral has many elaborate chapels along its interior. This one stood out with its exterior artwork and silver altarpiece just inside.

The cathedral houses a large collection of tapestries, but this chapel made great use of them.

Just behind the cathedral is the Castle of Zamora which was built between the 10th and 12th-centuries. (Again, for those keeping score at home, that’s prior to the Norman Conquest.)

There is little left of the castle – save some walls and column bases – but, it was fun to walk along its walls.

Oh, and Mikey climbed to the highest part to snap this selfie with the cathedral in the background. Let’s face it – the church is big business in Zamora.

And so we leave you with an example. This is the exterior of a religious confraternity that dates back to the late 16th-century. Kind of akin to a lay person’s religious club, the confraternity is big socially in Zamora. Mikey, however, snapped this shot due to the penitent’s seemingly controversial dress and that he is holding a similarly attired child. Yes, Mikey knows that it is totally anachronistic and culturally insensitive, but he dubbed this statue “Growing Up Klan.” Why, you might ask? ‘Cause it just exudes bad optics.

Well, we should get some “shuteye.” Ergo, we bid you, dear reader, a happy evening and will post again soon. Hasta entonces.

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