Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Iberian Adventures: Zaragoza

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.

Fountain

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.

Street art in Zaragoza

Street art in Zaragoza

Street art

Street art

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.

Courtyard 

Dan at la Aljafería

Carol at la Aljafería

Palacio de la Aljafería

Posing

Ceiling

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!

Cookie shop

Cathedral

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!

Lunchtime

Lunch

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.

La Seo

La Seo

Dan checking at La Seo

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.

Zaragoza

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!

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