So our first day in Avila we wended our way through cobbled streets and pretty plazas, past so old Cathedrals, Churches, colourful buildings interspersed with “se vende” signs and crumbled walls to the Convento de Santa Teresa solidly standing at the top of rise and overlooking a landscape stretching out beyond the city walls.
The Church is splendid inside and houses the room where the saint was born, a glittering small chapel dedicated to her, and alongside the church a room full of books she wrote, about her, depictions of all the convents she founded and some interesting relics and objects she used : her walking stick in later life, heavy rosary beads, her ring finger preserved.
Then we took off for another walk around the walls and towards the start of the Camino. The sun came out and people walking, children playing a version of “first to the peg” at the bottom of the hill.
The path starts at the bottom of the hill, on the other side of the river, and then we walked back up. It was a steep climb, but made worthwhile as an old man sitting outside his home in the fading sunlight regaled us with stories of festivals, a garden, and a film made years ago in Avila starring Sophia Loren and Carey Grant.
The next morning , walking around the top of the town ,we stumbled across the Camino waymarkers: the shell on a wall and the yellow arrow at my feet
We’re ready to walk Camino Teresiano!!