Friday, May 20, 2016

Camino Mozarabe - Day 5 - Mérida

Just 15 km. An hour plus on the bike. I woke up later today and after breakfast left just before 8:30 am. Mainly on the slip road besides the highway and when it broke off towards the city took the last shot of the olive grove.
Mérida original name was Emerita Augusta, in honor of Emperor Augustus. The capital of Lusitania. Lot's of Roman ruins here. My second time here. First was on the Camino via de la Plata in 2008 from Sevilla to Santiago de Compostela.
This time round I got in from the east. First the Roman race track. Then the San Lazaro aqueduct which I hadn't seen before. Then the gate to the Crypt of Santa Eulalia which is a strange mix of Roman columns.
Down main street to PlazaEspãna and to the old Roman bridge on the river with a statue of Romulus and Remus sucking on a she-wolf.
The albergue is nice along the river park but it is too early to check in. In any case, Michael injured his muscle a couple of days ago and couldn't drive up to Merida to bring the bike back so I have to find another way to send the bike back. Found a bike shop near the train station. Boxed and shipping for 35 euros. Then got a train for Sevilla tomorrow morning and transfer down to Antequera later in the day.
Meantime checked into the albergue looking like a walker. 6 euros. Seems like I am the first one at 12 pm. Albergue has a funny name. Windmill of hot cakes? Drop the backpack and finished retracing the places I've been. Trajan gate. Roman museum I had been the last time (free on Sunday) so skipped that. The colosseum and theatre also had been so no need to spend another 12 euros. The temple of Diana is funny as there is an out of place Spanish house inside. This time round they open up the spaces around it. Eight years ago we can only see it from the front. Finally the Milagros aqueduct the pilgrims walking the Camino via de la Plata will see it as they leave Mérida the next day. After lunch back to the albergue. Those going to Santiago will still have over 700 km to walk. Shower and siesta and time to look for food later.
Went out with the peregrinos that came in from the Camino via de la Plata for dinner. Somehow felt like an outsider as they are a different group. Last thing, the hospitalero gives out badges and wrist band for both the Camino via de la Plata and Mozarabe. Cool souvenir. 

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