miércoles, 6 de febrero de 2013

Gone with the wind

The week before A Coruña I was in Zaragoza, another Spanish city, known by how fast the wind blows. And how cold it is regardless the time of the year. Apparently this is because the city is in a valley and before arriving there the wind comes from the mountains, bringing the cold breeze. At least that’s what my taxi driver told me when I got in his cap, mad about the weather and about the fact the wind almost blown me way, back to Madrid. 

This was my 3rd time in Zaragoza (the first was years ago, at the end of the road trip I did with some friends to the Basque country, and the second in 2008 during the Expo) and that piece of information the taxi driver gave me is pretty much all I know officially about the city. But this is what I know unofficially:

Zaragoza has a beautiful cathedral, called La Pilarica, that always reminds me of the cathedral from Vienna because of its colorful rooftop made from green, yellow, blue and white tiles. 

The square where the cathedral is is beautiful and sunny but probably the windiest spot in the entire city because it is wide open. 

(This statue looked so beautiful. But my personal Guinness Record of the city with the most beautiful and interesting statues per m2 goes to Oviedo, where I was the week before I went to Zaragoza and about which I’ll tell you more in the next post. Stay tuned because it is really worth it!) 

This time around I noticed the Zaragoza’s authorities set up this wall almost in front of the cathedral, for all the citizens that wanted to participate and to contribute with their little grain of creativity to join forces and create something great, such as this graffiti that says: “Porque sueño, no estoy loco” (Because I’m able to dream, I know that I’m not crazy). Is a beautiful message and an iniciative to applaude. When people join forces does the result always look this great… or is just something that only I feel ?!

(Do you see that guy there, at the distance, painted in the wall?! That’s Goya, probably the greatest Spanish painter of all times, and this “title” is actually something important, because over the centuries in Spain there were many great painters, such as Velázquez, El Greco, Zurbarán, Dali, Picasso, Miró and many other… but Goya was the greatest and the city of Zaragoza was paying him a tribute with an exhibition on the MICAZ. The entrance is always for free but this exhibition is already over, nevertheless, next time any of you go to Zaragoza you may consider to pay them a visit because apparently they own several “Goyas”, in an effort to show to the world the importance the city had in the artist life and art). 

(This building remind me a bit of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milán or the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert in Brussels… Yes, yes, I know, with less glamour and sun light, but with a touch!)

In Zaragoza is one of my favorite “pinxos” restaurant in Spain (let me do a parenthesis in here: what the entire world call “tapa” is actually a “pinxo”, something on a piece of bread; a “tapa” isn’t a porcion neither, that is a “ración” which in Spanish means exactly “a porcion”; a “tapa” is a little bit of something on a little plate which in the past was put over the glass to avoid the flyes from landing inside the beer or the wine). So, as I was saying… In Zaragoza is one of my favorite “pinxos” restaurant. It is called El Cierzo (the name of the already mentioned cold wind that always blows in Zaragoza) and it is great. As I said this was my 3rd time in town and it was also my 3rd time in this restaurant that never never never disappoints me. What’s also great, but unheard of until now (despite the fact it is more than one hundred-years-old), is a little pasteries’ shop called Flor de Almibar. It is in the same street from El Cierzo and as you can see by the following pictures everything looks great. 

(Those little marzipan fruits captivate me, since in Portugal we have very similar little cakes… So I decided to go in and buy only two, just to try them…) 

(They were tasteful but not better than the Portuguese marzipan fruits and three times their price. Bottom line, a beautiful shop to see and to take pictures – there were some Japanese tourists doing the same, and I don’t mean trying the pastries, I mean taking pictures – but consider going somewhere else to have your dessert).

(I left the morning after to Barcelona and had a blast in the train taking pictures from the beautiful landscape around Zaragoza, full of windmills – of course -, and with the dawn “painting” everything with orange... although the pictures with my beloved LOMO fish eye lens don’t make justice to the magic of the moment – sniff!!!)

And now, I kindly ask my friend Eva (the same from this weekend in here) to shed some light on this post and add more information about the city of Zaragoza, her city, by using the comments box bellow. 

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