Friday, 6 March 2009

100 Reasons to Love Zaragoza :)

Only been here a couple of days and despite the wind (BIG WIND) and cold I love it.

From the nice, swanky train ride to arrival at the splendid contemporary station to meeting a great bunch of people at the first bar I stumbled into well after midnight.

Friendly. Beautiful buildings. Fab free art & stuff to see. More that you have to pay a little for. Clean, comfortable, friendly hostal at just €17/night. The most helpful tourist information service I've ever found in Spain. People going out of their way to help me, or simply give good advice. The most culturally diverse and balanced city I've ever visited in Spain. And, the police are just leaving me be. More than that actually! They're even stopping to look at my work before paying compliments and giving the thumbs up. I like it here. The good people of Zaragoza have only the horrible wind to thank for preventing me from hanging around to long.

And, best of all is the main Plaza. Plaza del Pilar; a recently restored, huge public space with a great mix of old and new. Cathedral at one end, Roman museum and tower at the other with the magnificent basilica dominating over contemporary art and water features. Every city should have spaces like this for everyone to enjoy without the hassle and noise of commercial onslaught and cars. Nice enough in blustery gales. I'm determined to visit again to enjoy the space during night in the depths of summer. Gets very hot I'm told. Cold by winter, hot by summer to the point of water shortage. The lighting by night is excellent. The usual town planning discussion in Spain goes like this:

"We've found something old"
"What is it?"
"OK, we have 50,000€ to spend on old things, what should we do?"
"Call the orange light factory and buy the biggest we can get"

Not here. I wish the Alhambra in Granada was lit so consideratly.

May stay a day, or Two longer, but I have to be elsewhere pretty soon.

Nice place. Very nice place and just what I needed to restore my love of a beautiful country after the hiccup that was Barcelona.

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