Avila

Avila is spectacular. The walls that surround much of the old section are very well maintained. 

   
 And there is another reminder of Easter! 

  And the stork reminds us all spring is coming. Don’t know how winter babies arrive or where the storks are then. I love their clack clack sounds as they talk to each other.

    An interesting Cathedral in Avila. Christ is, let’s say, ‘overwhelming’. Or do I mean overhanging. Certainly impressive. Perhaps I’m just impressionable.

   
 Some interesting burials from the late 1400s, including one rejuvenated knight with his page. And, below him is a chained monkey pulling a woman’s long hair. Hmmm. Hard not to wonder why, what it meant to have this imagery on his tomb.

  
 In the Cathedral the huge processional carts rest between events. They are large, clearly heavy and, unlike some in Córdoba, none seem to be motorised, needing strong young men to carry and pull.

   

  

  

   

  

   

Aren’t they amazing? Some are so elaborate and colourful. As they lay waiting a beam of light settled on one face of Christ.   Where is the good photographer when you need her?

One cart, or juggernaut, was returned as I visited the cathedral this morning. Must have been the 02.30 procession or my list is incomplete. That’s a very long time to be pulling something so heavy. 
Finally, a guy with a pointy hat. He briefly posed for me as I buzzed around, confirming my quintessential and impressionable tourist status. 

   

  

  

  

Some had flatter black caps. Lower orders? Cart movers rather than leaders? 

I was impressed. Similarly a collection of posters advertising the Avila processions is interesting.

   
 So are the local alternatives to gingerbread men.

   

 From the edge of the city walls you can see out over the surrounding planes. Mountains to the north have considerable amounts of snow. My map names a chapel dedicated to the lady of the snow up there. So, I’m not walking at least the first section over that mountain. It’s not a lot higher than where I was yesterday but, enough. Especially with a forecast of snow coming up.
Two days ago I realised an accident out on parts of the track could be a big problem as a solo traveller in the absence of other walkers: rapid hypothermia being the first outcome. I didn’t check phone reception. Parts of this region certainly felt very isolated. 

And now for the more prosaic: automatic toilets. Those silver capsules in public places. After a family job lot I got my turn. Was about to sit and the seat retracted. Seat reappeared. I sat. And the toilet flushed. Immediately. A little too early. And then the toilet door popped open!  Perhaps a review of the software event sequencing, triggers and timing is needed. Avoid!

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