Staying here at the Hotel Real Monasterio San Zoilo for a second night is just what the doctor ordered. Last night Dave wasn’t feeling well enough to have dinner and was in bed by 8 o’clock. I went by myself to the casual, glassed-in restaurant on the hotel grounds for pizza and cerveza. I was happy to be warm and protected from the teaming rain and strong wind. The swirling yellow leaves from all the yellow deciduous trees in the garden made a spectacular scene. Needless to say, all the cars in the parking lot were plastered with leaves. Fall is here and what a beautiful season it is, especially last night.
We started off the day with exactly what we needed, a full breakfast complete with orange slices, melons, kiwi fruit, yogurt, eggs, cheese, meat, chocolate-filled pastries, and cafe con leche. There was more that we didn’t have room for, but there is always tomorrow. Does it get any better than that?!
After breakfast Dave walked back to the town centre for the medication he needed at the “farmacia” (pharmacy). It was pouring rain then but now it is afternoon and the sun is shining.
Here is a little information about the Monastery that comes from the brochure in our room: “According to documents from the year 948 A.D. that were found in the history of Carrion de los Condes, the Monastery was dedicated first to St. John the Baptist and then to St. Zoilo. Many monarchs chose the Monastery as a place of repose and used it as the seat of parliament and councils.
Benedictine monks gave the Monastery its artistic culture and its religious magnificence when the Gregorian reform was introduced. During this period the Monastery was used as a shelter and hospital for the pilgrims of Camino de Santiago who needed rest and treatment of their ailments. (History is repeating itself right now!)
In the mid-nineteenth century, the Jesuits established a secondary school in the Monastery. This was the first secondary school in Spain. Later and until 1980 the Monastery was used for a minor seminary of the diocese of Palencia.”
When Dave returned from town, we visited the cloister. “It is the highlight of the monastic complex. It was designed by Juan de Badajoz the Younger in 1537 and concluded in 1604 with the participation of leading architects who built walls and carved its profuse ornamentation of church fathers, prophets, patriarchs, judges, priests, heroes, characters of the New Testament, apostles and evangelists, civilians, kings, queens, emperors and empresses, popes, cardinals, doctors, monks and saints. Two heights, the lower cloister articulates with five arches between thick buttresses, while the top opens with arches.”
It feels good to have a day off from the Camino, especially here in this beautiful hotel. What ailed Dave seems to be improving (fingers crossed). We feel fresher and raring to return to the Camino tomorrow. The forecast for tomorrow is for showers in the morning and sun in the afternoon, similar to today but hopefully not the downpour we had.