Shearwin's in Europe 2017 travel blog

Day 17 - Sun 4 Jun 17.

Boy are the days flying! I have just noticed on the front page of Mytripjournal that we are the only couple regularly posting for Spain. Conclusion; no one else is travelling or most are facebooking or blogging elsewhere and I'm alone , which is fine. I post daily for the discipline of recording what I know I'll need to remember in a few years time as the greying matter kicks in; sorry about the photo's, I have hundreds but this is not the easiest of sites for uploads.

Today we plan to visit the Basilica as a priority, however, the first visit is to the Caesaraugustus Theatre, an archeological site that traces the construction of a significant roman theatre from the Flavian period. It went into decline after 300 AD with residential housing built on and over the site . The presentation of the site is outstanding and it traces the construction of the theatre in great detail. As it was Sunday and the visit was free.

We next moved to the Catedrale La Seo del Salvador, a previous roman temple, Visigoth church, Mosque and now Cathedral. It was just on 12 pm and the cathedral was closing until 4.30pm.

Rebuffed, we moved to the Basilica del Pilar and entered via the eastern entry to view the section of the church open without restriction to visitors. Some were conducting prayers around the central altar while other visitors were viewing the various outer wall altars in this very large and well decorated building.

We then moved to the Western entry which had controlled entry, as a mass had just started. We attended the service observing the decorations for about 40 minutes.

I was interested in tracing the French line of assault during the second seige of what was then Saragossa, during the 1808 /14 Peninsula War. We walked along the river Ebro across the Puenta de Piedre bridge to the northern bank to view the few remnants of the Convent San Lazaro. It was the capture of this final position that enabled the French to cut the Spanish line of withdrawal across the bridge resulting in such casualties that the Spanish were forced to surrender soon after.

In need of nourishment, we found a bar over looking the Plaza and ordered several Tapas and a wine. We then walked south to the historic Puerto del Carmen; a surviving gate from the walls of Saragossa. We were back at our Hotel by 1500hrs for a siesta.

At 1630hrs, I headed off on my own to visit the Plaza de Santa Engracia. This was a significant military history area in the same war as during both seiges of Saragossa, French and Polish troops were concentrated to breech the city walls. The casualties to both sides were very significant but more so for the Spanish and the Polish. While visiting the Plaza, I met an English speaking polish chap who was also visiting to gain a sense of the Polish Forces involved in this war conducted under French command.

I then returned to the very significant La Seo del Salvador Cathedral to view. It was very impressive and being in the same city as the Basilica, I was quite surprised that it's interior decorations were more impressive. Both were definitely worth their status as significant attractions and deserving of a visit. As a final attraction, I headed for the impressive water feature at the opposite end of the Plaza, the Fuente de las Hispanidad for a photograph. I was back in the hotel by 1800 hrs.

Tonight we are not doing Tapas and have decided to have dinner in our highly rated hotel restaurant. A good way of beating the cool wet weather that has been with us all day.

I had the lamb and in all honesty it was superb. Unfortunately, Kaye's salad with lamb was salad without the lamb. For some reason this was explainable because of changes to the menu which it seems we should have known about. We paid the bill and are still trying to fathom the logic presented by our English speaking staff. As a side note we had a very nice red wine which was the only one available as the wine list is changing!?,!. It was a Cab Sav, Tempranillo, Granacha combination.

We were in bed by 2300hrs for what has been another good day; pity the drizzling rain.

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