Oliver is…

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man

…done with Zaragoza

After Madrid my hopes for Spain rose considerably, but Zaragoza sort of pushed them back down again. It’s a cute little riverside town, with an amazing cathedral and some nice cobbled shopping streets but, like Santiago, for a traveller who wants instant gratification there’s not much to do beyond the first couple of days of sightseeing.

Here's Zaragoza cathedral up close and at night

Considering the small, ancient feel of the main city, it had a surprisingly modern and spacious bus/train station/shopping centre which gave something of a false impression of the city I was about to visit. The guy in the tourist office seemed delighted to have someone to speak to, which could have been a warning sign, and on the bus up everyone seemed to be speaking Spanish, apart from the Spanish and Czech girls I talked to — one going back to her parents’ place because she couldn’t find any work, the other going to live with her boyfriend’s parents because they couldn’t find any work. He was still in Canada trying to sell weed they’d stolen from the marijuana farm they’d just been working on, because they hadn’t been paid for their labours. That’ll teach them to trust Craigslist and/or drug dealers.

In Zaragoza, the food again dipped back down to disappointing. The Chinese place I found was awful and the buffet I tried was terrible, although there was an amazing churros cafe. That, and I found a place called Todo Uno Euro* which, as my rapidly developing Spanish informed me, means Everything’s Cheap. Okay, so there were a lot of cheese sandwiches on the menu, but they were all just one euro and there was not only variety in cheese types but also in accompaniment between the bread. The drinks were also one euro, as were the popcorn, the nachos and everything else on offer. For a cheap feed, it was great, and there was no obvious difference between this place and the other sandwich bars that charged ridiculously more.

Zaragoza-castle

Outside this fine-dining establishment, the cathedral was the main attraction in Zaragoza. I walked in and round and all about that. I took photos of it during the day, at night and from across the river. Some of them are quite pretty, see?

zaragoza-cathedral

There's the cathedral and a big ferris wheel

There were also some old city walls, a castle of some kind (complete with modern day car park) and a statue of a tiny horse. I also came across a really impressive looking building, found out it was a bull fighting ring and protested by not taking a photo of it. Take that, world!

Old Zaragoza wall

Like Porto, the city had a cable car (to get you across the river for when a bridge is just too passé) which, like in Porto, I didn’t go in.

As you can see from this picture, it was starting to get chilly in Europe — it’s almost December, don’t you know? — and travelling with someone who’s used to it being 30+ at this time of the year makes things tricky. One more stop then off for warmth, don’t you think?

Lil Sebastian?

*Or something like that. I tried searching on Bing and nothing came up so maybe I’m wrong.

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One Response

  1. Jemma Porter says:

    I’m glad I didn’t miss much with Zaragoza. We tried to go there for a night while we were driving round the Pyrenees but ended up accidentally booking a hotel 3 miles out of town on the side of a motorway as it was one of the few places with parking. Such are the joys of travelling with a car!

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