From a faraway distance, I can see the siloutte of the cathedral of Zamora and the city sourrounding it. My steps will take me there in aproximatelly 2.5 hours.
Water, has always been very important through history, and as many other cities where the Roman empire settled, Zamora, also has a river. The Camino enters the city by the stone bridge, over the river Duero.
As I am crossing the bridge, I admire how some of the old city is built over the massive natural rock, along the river banks.
There, high above stands its cathedral, ranging in architectural styles from romanic to romanesque to early gothic.
Zamora has 22 churches, of romanic origin, some beautiful preserved, others were reconstructed romanesque and gothic.
I arrived in Zamora early afternoon. The 19.5 km to here, passed very quickly. I walked by fields of wheat and cultivated precious land. Most of my walking I do alone, as we all walk at different rhythms and stopping for just a few minutes, distance us very quickly from other piligrims. There are also no more than 6-8 piligrims walking daily, at this time of the year.
I left my back pack at the albergue and went exploring. In the cities the albergues are usually closed from 8 am (you have to leave), until 3 pm when piligrims are welcome to come in. In the smaller villages, they are more flexible with the hours.
Eventually most of us piligrims all meet again, in the albergues, coffee shops, tapas bars. It really feels like a little family that appears and disappears. Some you never see again, others you meet more often.
Sharing the albergues means, that many times we sleep in the bunk beds next to each other, we often joke about the snoring, or who has the biggest or smaller pack....as there is a piligrim saying that the size of your pack and what you are packing, represents your troubles in life. The lighter your pack is, the lighter you are within yourself.
Tonight, next to me, as I am writting, there are three men. Germany, Iceland and Holland. We don't choose the room. As we arrive, the rooms are filled. The lower bunks are always the first ones to be taken and so far I have been always in bottom bunks.
The albergue in Zamora is municipal and really nice, run by volunteers from many different countries and you pay a donation.Today a couple from Virginia USA, greet us.
Municipal albergues are either by donation or between 5-8 €, private albergues 10-12 € and most reigious albergues also by donation. Sometimes we have meals provided, others we cook and when in bigger towns or cities, we mostly all go out for meals and tapas.
As I walk though Zamora, my steps are very slow, in slow motion. Every movement streching my feel, my legs, thighs, my body, my mind. My teva sandels with socks, provide me a great relief at the end of walking and I enjoy the freedom and movement on my toes.
I walked and walked without any planned place, church or any other city sites, I just walked slowly letting my movements take me. I entered a chapel and there in front of me, was Santiago. I am in the chapel of Santiago. Gregorian chanting music playing, making that moment very special for me.
I felt an incredible peace, quiteness and protection from Santiago Apostol. I gave thanks for this incredible piligrimage, journey and protection, that I received every day.