Monday, June 29
After just barely missing the train from Barcelona, we spent an hour at the train station before taking the next one to Zaragoza. The high speed train was fast. The first thing we noticed upon arrival was how hot it was. We definitely weren't on the coast anymore. Took a cab to the hotel, checked in, and relaxed a bit before venturing out for the evening. Our room had a tiny balcony.
We walked to dinner at El Fuelle for traditional Aragon cuisine, stopping in an antique shop and model train store on the
way. Then we walked by the Roman amphitheater so Dan could check it out,
saw the cathedral lit up at night, and got ice cream since it was so hot.
Tuesday, June 30
After breakfast in the hotel, we walked toward the old palace,
stopping to check out the market first. I saw a lot of street art in Zaragoza.
We also passed a honey/bee
supply shop, where we chatted with the proprietor with my limited Spanish. We sampled his
honey, and Dan showed him photos of our bees on his phone, which he recognized as Italian
bees! He showed us specimens of Spanish honeybees.
Eventually we made it to La Aljafería. Unfortunately we could only see
the first floor because work was being done on the upper floors, but at least it was free admission.
Then we walked to the cathedral, stopping for cookies at a bakery. The cathedral is huge. Like a giant enclosed mall, but holy. There were lots of people inside. Dan thought they were there to escape the heat. I saw
a beagle outside the cathedral, our first sighting in Zaragoza!
Then Dan and I had lunch at La Republicana, where we enjoyed another tasty and affordable menú del dia. Dan loves the lunches in Spain!
After lunch we went to
La Seo, the other cathedral and tapestry museum. There were many gilded and elaborate chapels, which Dan enjoyed viewing with his binoculars. My favorite part was
the mosaic wall.
After lunch we viewed the Rosario de Cristal, a collection of stained glass installations inside a small church. They are displayed in a parade during the feast day of Nuestra Señora del Pilar in October. Then we wandered around and did some shopping. We observed many bakeries and sweets shops. I got granizado from two gelato shops to cool off. We sat down to eat our cookies, when Dan pointed out another beagle! We also saw a large
demonstration. We asked about it at the hotel, where the gentleman said they were protesting a new law that curtails the right to protest.
Wednesday, July 1
After breakfast at the hotel, we packed up and took a cab to the train
station to pick up the rental car. But unfortunately I had reserved the
car for the WRONG DAY. The previous day, and they already rented it.
OOPS. And there were no cars. I called AutoEurope, who I had booked
through, and the guy was nice, but not helpful at all. Tina went to ask
about trains. The first had left already, and the second was full. Dan
asked the other two rental car places, no cars either. Tina got the bus
schedule, and Johnny checked on his iPhone and reserved a car! From one
of the other rental car companies that had told Dan there were no cars.
Whoo hoo! My brother saves the day! We had to wait a little while, but eventually we
were on the road. On to Basque Country!