Day 59 – Zaragoza

No cycling again – just playing tourist.

Found out today that the city was built by Romans,way back, and was named Caeseraugusta; it’s gradually been changed to Zaragoza. Ain’t language a wonderful thing?

Phew it’s hot. 35C today, and that’s as  cool as it gets for the next week. I hope it feels cooler on the road tomorrow – the city here is full of marble, which is a great heat reflector. In most of the old town today, water trucks were out and about, constantly soaking the marble in Plazas, trying to keep the temperature down. I think it just raised the humidity, making it feel even warmer.

Up at 7:30; the plaza de Seo, which my room faces, is a de facto skateboard park at night; full of young folk, using the ramps and steps to test/improve their skills. It was after 11:00 before they started to leave. Skateboards on marble make quite a noise – and that’s before you add in youthful exuberance, a fw teenage girls, and male testosterone. I still slept well.

I took my time over breakfast; big bowl of cornflakes, two croissants, coffee and OJ. Back to my room, showered, and headed out – down to the river, right, away from the basilica, then meandered up the side streets until I found the remains of the Roman theatre. It was only rediscovered in the mid 1970s, when they tried to dig foundations for a block of units, and found massive foundations of concrete and marble already there.


It’s beautifully preserved, with a huge rain/sunshade built over it to prevent further deterioration. My jubilados card came into play: free entry instead of five Euro. I walked on, past one of the many city bike hire racks:


and generally wandered around, popping into random churches, mosques and palaces. I drank two litres of water in three hours walking.

Back at the Plaza de Seo,I caught the tourist bus – Jubilados again – 5 Euro instead of ten. It took me West of the city to the 2008 Expo site, through the water park – think Commonwealth park, or Mote park lake, on steroids. There’s a large aquarium, designed around 5 river systems – the Murray-Darling is one of them. Most of the rest of the drive was fairly tedious – once outside the old town, it’s boulevards and high rise units – Napoleon smashed the suburbs in 1808, and it was again smashed during the Spanish civil war.

A late, and leisurely lunch at the hotel, followed by a nanna nap.

Up again at 6:00pm, and it was like walking into an oven as i stepped outside. Another litre of water,and a stroll around the main square again; stopped for an ice cream, people watched, then bought 2 litres of cold water for tomorrow, which I’ve put in the fridge in my room. The hotel charges 2 Euro for 500ml of cold water – I bought 2 litres for 1 Euro 20 cents.

It’s now 8:00pm. I’ll pack my bags tonight. I”ve got my route planned, and will hit the road after breakfast – it’s 80 plus km to Huesca, and I’d like to get a lot of it done before the temperature gets to 38C.

See you down the road.

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