Semana Santa (Part 1)

After a long term, I was ready for a holiday. I had more time than usual, so it was time to push the boat out and head North. Beth lives in Zaragoza (the 5th largest city in Spain did ya know?) and Katie and I were going to visit her for a long weekend before returning South for the Semana Santa festivities.

Thursday was a busy day. I came home from work, ate a quick lunch and headed straight to my blablacar. I was lucky enough to have company, as Mackenzie was going up to Madrid too. It’s always nice to have a friend with you when you’re sitting in a car full of strangers for four hours. She stayed with me in the station until my train from Madrid to Zaragoza was due to leave. We had a nice chat and shared a froyo before parting ways. It was almost quite emotional, because we weren’t going to see each other for about 10 days – what were we going to do?!

I arrived in Zaragoza late that night, so after a short catch-up on the walk to Beth’s house, we pretty much went to bed straight away – such grandma’s, I know! Over the next few days, Beth showed us her marvellous city. We saw the Pilar – an amazing building, which looks like a cathedral (but apparently is not THE cathedral). It has a tower, so that’s always a plus! This was followed by churros, a walk in the botanical gardens, as well as a walk to the most gorgeous park, Parque Grande. One evening we ate in El Tubo, the food street, where the tapas crawl is a necessity. One evening when we didn’t fancy Spanish food, we ate burgers instead – my mouth is watering right now thinking about it. Finally, we went to the Alfajeria, a palace with Moorish architecture. It was interesting to see a small piece of Andalusia in the North.

Saturday held something more active in store for us – a walk in the desert. Zaragoza is the most isolated city in Spain, as it is surrounded by a vast sea of dessert – there are no towns for miles. Beth has a couple of Spanish friends who were kind enough to take us out to one of the deserts, Los Monegros in Huesca, for a short ‘walk’. What we experienced was far from a leisurely stroll, but instead an adventurous hike that involved climbing steep cliffs, jumping off rocks and a lot of singing. We didn’t make it out without a few (many) scratches on our legs. Needless to say, we had a fun day out and we later rewarded ourselves with a ‘tinto de verano’ and an ice cream – a dessert to end our day in the desert.

Despite our busy few days, we somehow managed to binge watch an entire season of Fresh Meat. It was the perfect mix busy and lazy. It was just what we needed, especially since Beth and I were about to head south for an incredibly chaotic tour of Andalusia with a schedule of one city per day for five days straight.

Zaragoza, you were a delight and I’ll be back soon! But for now, the south awaits.