Burgos — the long (interminable) approach

departing Agés it didn’t seem like Burgos was all that far — maybe something to do with leaving as the sun is rising? by walking past San Juan de Ortega we shaved three and a half kilometers off the day and our hearty dinner should have prepared us well for the day … and yet …

seeing Burgos from the hilltop over Atapuerca, a mere three kilometers into the day certainly didn’t help, giving a false sense of accomplishment and relative progress. the distant view of Burgos was spectacular especially under the clear, sunny skies of Castilla. but as it kept not getting closer, not getting closer, not getting closer as the day warmed up, as we crossed major highways, dodged traffic on busy roads, and skirted the airport.

the worst part about coming into large cities is the sprawl. kilometer after kilometer of of paved-over landscape crowded with industrial storefronts; just like here in America, really. the reality of urban sprawl isn’t something we think about on a regular basis — what having two dozen home remodel stores situated one next to another next to another — because we get everywhere via vehicular transportation. but when its been two hours since you passed the last cafe and you’ve been walking on uneven surfaces and everything you pass caters to car-based culture you start to notice it. our guidebook offered a couple of different alternative routes to get into Burgos and we opted for the shortest … which, as the guidebook promised, was an ugly approach. after skirting the airport it was several kilometers along a six-lane roadway lined with DIY stores — mostly for bathroom remodeling. not a few times did I wish we’d taken a break at the last village outside the city limits to rest and refresh…

and even once we reached the city limits of Burgos we had a heck of a time finding our lodgings for the night. I should have known better on day 12, but by the last few kilometers my sense of distance traveled in a given length of time was blown completely out of proportion. over and over we learned that the time it takes to cover the first kilometer is not equal to the length of time it takes to cover the last kilometer. in the end, we broke out the the iPhone and used some of our limited data allotment to find out where we were, where our destination was, and how the two related to one another. the tub and the view were great, once we arrived, but I certainly could have done without that stretch of ugly, inconvenient nothing.

did I mention that among all those DIY bath showrooms there was a Bridgestone tire plant? apparently in 2010 the plant won Spain’s “European Mobility Week” Award for “Best Practices,” recognizing Bridgestone’s “policies in the area of sustainable mobility and its commitment to raising awareness for the impact of how we move on both the environment and quality of life generally.” whatever that means.

Author: Erica

born in the midwest with wandering feet.