Public transport detour to avoid the storms day 2
Today was vastly different to yesterday. And yes yes Tuesday is always different to Wednesday but you know what I mean. I think I have said this before but there are some days where you really shouldn't try to get anything done, it just won't happen and you'll end up wanting to crumple in a heap on the floor and just stay there. Having said that it wasn't all like that..there were some very random moments that I took in but I just didn't have the humour to appreciate them fully then.
Little things like the quirkyness of my hostal..I got there about 10am, was let in to the hall and clambered up to the first floor where it was, to have the door opened by a lady in her nighty and dressing gown. I wondered for a moment if I was in the right place but she ushered me in, and I blathered at her in pseudo Spanish. She just looked at me, didn't say a word, walked to a room and opened it. It had just been vacated so she set about changing the bed. Very aware she hadn't even got up yet I tried to say I'd hunt leave my stuff and come back later but she just carried on. 6 blankets later bed made, me awkwardly standing by. Still not a word from the woman. Later on I worked out that her family lived on that floor of the building. The main room was at one end, the kitchen was randomly half way down the hall in the middle of the 'guestrooms', and their bedrooms down the far end. It was a most peculiar arrangement. It was also the most creaky building and am sure my bed was on a slope as I kept finding myself sliding toward the edge. Having said that the room was huge and brighter than the rest of the floor put together..so I can't complain.
Even my tiredness was funny looking back..as usual my linguistics ability of any kind deserted me. Which is not great when trying to ask people about getting to Zaragoza. For some reason, I kept muddling Zaragoza with Segovia and coming up with some random destination. I knew I was doing it but I couldn't seem to get it right...just kept spouting 'zaragovia' or something similar. No wonder the poor ticket sellers looked confused and quickly handed me over to another desk. I kept trying with the Spanish though and when I got a sentence out I was happy. Only to have my jaw drop when they fired back instructions at brakeneck speed. Back to wanting to sit on the floor again. Complete waste of time lol.
But c'est la vie. And in the end the journey was pretty straight forward. In the morning I went to the bus station, asked for a tickets, got it, waited, put bike on coach (no plastico needed), and bob's your uncle. Easy peasie.
Today you could see the storm more, it was pissing it down in Pamplona when I left and the wind was oooof! When I arrived in Zaragoza the rain had gone, dark clouds still threatened but the wind was there, and then some! According to the forcast the 'normal' wind was about 25 kph and the gusts around 60. Walking out of the train station I was nearly blown away. I tried cycling but my bike with the panniers is like having a sail attached so I ended up going sideways. Back to walking it was. Weirdly it was hot and muggy too, so I was glad to get to my hostal and change.
So Zaragoza...so after having a wander and sorting my train ticket for tomorrow..I did the usual just pottering , getting lost and seeing where the pretty buildings took me. I have to say I really like it here. It's very light and airy and open, even in the clouds and wind. It reminds me a little of Madrid as it's also quite quirky and you're never quite sure what is going to be round the next corner. I love the Plaza del Pilar, which is where I am sat now with a beer (as the sun finally made an appearance). Its a long Plaza with the cathedral one end, a basilica in the middle, and some quirky art works the other end. I think this is the first city I have been in where the cathedral doesn't take centre stage, the basilica does. It is amazing, almost palace like with 10 mini domes with green, yellow, blue and white tiles, others with green copper, and then the main dome in the centre. Goose bump moment just now when choral singing was randomly played out of it, though that could be the cold wind. I could quite happily sit here for hours looking at the basilica with my beer. But alas alack things to do...tomorrow to get ready for..
I am also back on the Rio Ebro, Zaragoza is upstream from Haro and the Santo Domingo area (which weirdly isn't that far away..I guess that says it all about how zig zag and all over the place my route is.) It runs behind the basilica and looks more impressive here than when I last saw it.
In other news:
I think I am addicted to frozen yogurt, never had it at home but here I have it whenever I see a yoghurt shop. I try and think of it as healthy as I have it with fresh strawberries and pineapple. Yum. It is restricted to one a day though that has been wavered on occasions.
Two random bruises have appeared on my left hand, one on the lower back of my thumb and the other on the ball of my thumb on the palm side. I thought it was impossible to bruise the palm but apparently not. No idea how they got there but they are quite impressive. I did originally think there was three new bruises but one turned out to be chocolate.