One thing I’ve learned since being abroad is how different the Basque Country is in comparison to the rest of Spain. It’s almost comical how bizarre it was when we saw men walking around with what we saw as more normal hairstyles and clothes, without tiny hooped earrings and hiking shoes.
León is beautiful. The cathedral is striking and it draws you in despite the fact it’s quite gloomy and dark, but that only makes it more mysterious and intriguing. You can absorb the history of the place as if you are a sponge: it seeps into you as you take in your surroundings, in awe of the architecture.
The Spanish they speak can also be seen as beautiful. It’s almost like the equivalent of the Queen’s English. It made me almost nostalgic, if that’s even possible, for Spanish listening exams I had to take when I was younger.
Another joy is that when you order drinks, you always get tapas with it. These are different to the Basque pintxos, as they are almost like side dishes rather than tiny snacks. However, they are also surprisingly filling. One place, we were delighted to discover, gave us pizza with our wine.
León is actually really large, but as a result it’s not as easy to get around as Bilbao is. We stayed in a hostel, and although it was central and close to the cathedral, we almost missed it as it was tucked away down a side street.
This was my first time in a hostel. The building was beautiful, but its inhabitants were not, and I would be lying if I said it didn’t put me off future hostel stays. We were graced with the presence of many loud Spaniards at 3am and the fact that they had no consideration for the rest of us who were already sleeping peacefully disappointed me.
In short, León is elegant, magnificent, and fascinating. We only had 24 hours, but it was worth the adventure,