This past weekend, we traveled 3.5 hours on a by to Zaragoza, Spain. I guess 3.5 hours isn’t too bad compared to the 8-hour bus ride to Madrid…Anyways, Zaragoza is west of Barcelona, in the Aragon district of Spain. We arrived around noon on Friday and dropped our stuff at the hotel. I shared a cute little room with Allison. The European hotel rooms are so funny here, it’s 2 twin beds pushed RIGHT TOGETHER, so the rooms are pretty small. But this hotel, Hotel Paris, was very clean and nice.
We had a typical Spanish lunch, 2 big courses and a dessert, which took us almost 2 hours. That’s very normal here in Spain. They like to take their time and relax, unlike Americans who rush in and out and they’re back to work in 30 minutes. I really like the laid back lifestyle here! There’s no pressure to hurry along. Unless you are in the metro stations…that’s a different story.
After lunch, we took a tour of the older Roman part of the city. We went into a few churches that were partly preserved from the 14th century. They were so gorgeous! The detail of the architecture on the outside and inside is amazing. Our tour guide told us tons of stories about the churches, but my favorite one was about the attempted bombing of the Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar. During the Spanish Civil War, 3 bombs were dropped on the church, but they all failed to explode. The cool part is, you can still see the holes in the ceiling! 2 of the bombs are now displayed on one of the church walls.
Friday night, we had the chance to experience the best tapas I’ve eaten so far. There is an area in Zaragoza where the streets are super tight and there are tapas bars all lined up next to each other. It was so fun going into each place, pushing our way through the crowd to try their tapas and drinks!
Saturday morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we visited the Palacia de la Aljaferia. One of the girls in our group started a rumor that it was the castle where the real Cinderella lived. Not true! Nevertheless, the castle was still beautiful and full of intriguing history.
We then made our way to the Foro Romano, where there were Roman remains of the city. We then went to the Termas Romanas, where we saw a preserved Roman bath, and the Teatro Romano, where we saw a preserved Roman theatre. While touring these sights, I kept thinking, it is truly unbelievable how archeologists found these remains. A whole city rotting away underground, while a new civilization goes about their life on top of it. Just so crazy!
We ended our trip perfectly…with chocolate con churros! This was the first time I tried them and they were delicious! The best way I can describe them are as rolled pieces of pizza frites, but a little harder. You pour some sugar on top of them, and dip them in a cup of creamy chocolate. Yummmm. The chocolate actually kind of had the flavor of hot chocolate, but was much thicker. What a great way to finish the weekend!