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Cycling the Camino de Santiago - Day 14 (Lounging around Leon)

And on the 14th day, she rested. 

Or, rather, she went to see the sights in Leon. 

My first port of call was, unsurprisingly, the Cathedral. 

A great big hulking beast, the structure is undoubtedly Leon's main attraction. 

It looms over the nearby buildings, exuding power and inspiring awe. 

Unfortunately, the entrance price is quite steep, for a religious building, at €6. 

While the price does include an audio guide and a magazine, the interior is much the same as every other cathedral I've been to on the camino. 

There was beauty inside, but not enough to keep me occupied for more than fifteen minutes before I left. 

Ergo, I don't really think it's worth the price of entry. Particularly not when you can get such a sense of the place from merely gazing up at it from outside, which is an infinitely more impressive viewpoint. 

I also thought it was a bit much that the entry didn't include the cloister which was a part of the same building - you had to pay another €3 or €4 to get in there. 

I didn't bother. 

Instead I went next to the Basilica of Saint Isidore.   

The church itself was beautiful, but the real treasure lies in the museum attached to it. 

And I do, quite literally, mean treasure. 

The museum, which has an entrance fee of €5, houses a chalice which many believe was used by Jesus of Nazareth during the last supper. 

Now, there are roughly 200 or so cups and chalices in existence which hold such claims, but apparently none hold up to as much scrutiny as this one does.

It is called The Chalice of Dona Urraca after a previous owner - Lady Urraca - who was the daughter of Ferdinando I, King of Leon. 

You can Google it if you want the full story, but basically carbon dating puts the cup as being made between 200BC and 100AD, and researchers know it came from Jerusalem and was taken to Cairo and eventually ended up in Spain after a gift was made out of it. 

Currently the chalice is adorned in gold and jewels, but it is said that if it was used in the Last Supper it would have been much simpler and would just have been the basic onyx cup beneath all tbe adornments which were added later. 

Two historians published their research on the cup in 2014, after which so many people went to see the 'Holy Grail' that the museum had to temporarily withdraw it from display. 

It's back now, and it's you're not allowed to take photos of it so you're going to have to make do with this grainy still from a video I took on the sly. 

There are also really impressive frescos in the museum, and an eerie mausoleum. 

The place was definitely the highlight of my saunter around Leon! 

But time was ticking on, so I grabbed a quick lunch in the shadow of the Cathedral... 

And headed back to my hostel for the night. 

Tommorrow brings me 50km closer to Santiago - not long to go now! 

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