Zaragoza is a small town between San Sebastián and Barcelona and we were fortunate enough to stop here briefly. We were told upon arrival that despite being a small town, there is always something happening in Zaragoza!
We got off the bus and I wasn’t too sure about that statement. We walked into the main square to see the first basilica built that was dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It stood as Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter, then turned into a mosque when the Moorish people took over, then turned into a Catholic Church as the Moors were driven out. You can see different sections of the church with Catholic and Moorish differences. It’s large and beautiful but my stomach was growling.
With my budget growing a bit tighter, we skipped the main square as restaurants there are somewhat pricier, and wandered the back streets of the town in search for a decent place to eat. While wandering the back streets of the little town, we came across a Pagan parade of some kind (or possibly Moorish or another religion/culture). The men and women were in traditional style clothes from a hundred or so years back (think Germany during the times of the witch trials but with a Spanish flair of colour) and played Canasters and guitars as they paraded the streets. They carried bread or fruit baskets as they paraded. I’m not sure what it was for, but they headed to the main square and after they passed, we carried on in search of lunch.
We found somewhere and my lunch had a few things with a Russian salad – which I had never heard of! It is a mixture similar to potato salad in a creamy sauce but contains potato, cod, carrot, and egg. It was a little fishy for my liking but not bad. Not something I will ever eat again though, but while in a Catalan town of Spain, why not?!
We left there and saw some cool street art, and bumped into 3 men wearing full green spandex suits so naturally we got a photo with them! I have no idea why they were wearing these suits. They didn’t seem to be going anywhere in particular and weren’t advertising a store or brand nearby that you could purchase. They also couldn’t speak English but we got enough visual communication between us to ask for permission for some photos, high fives, hand shakes, and we carried on in separate directions.
Europe as a whole is super dog friendly (much more than Aus) but in this town they even had hooks on the walls outside of shops to leave your dog tied to as you browse. It made me miss Coco (my beautiful miniature poodle back home) though.
I also noticed their rubbish bins in town looked like upside down church bells! It was unusual but charming!
As we headed back to the main square we also saw a protest about keeping the Catalan language, culture, and land in the area. It was a decent sized demonstration and the media was filming. We grabbed a flyer to try and decipher what the protest was for, and the lovely woman I was with knew a little Spanish so together we got the gist of it. There are many fights for the Catalan people to hold onto their land, their culture and their language which is not given the recognition it deserves. It is similar I suppose to my own country in Australia and our indigenous people having to fight for the same thing.
Then it was time to go. So in a short couple of hours, our guide was proved right, there always is something going on in Zaragoza!