Fear and Forgetting

Posted by Alex | | Posted On Sunday, 13 March 2011 at 23:08

Normally, I'd gloss over this sort of stuff, and tell you more about the day-to-day in my life. In the last 7 days, I really haven't had much of an interesting day-to-day life -- I've been mistaken for Italian, I've had two very, very nice late night (or is finishing at 5am and 6am respectively early morning?) chats with my flatmate Ania, and I've cleaned the kitchen to within an inch of its life, twice, only to watch it fall back into decay and disrepair within a few hours. I also forgot -- forgot -- that Pau VallvĂ© was in Lleida tonight, and so missed my chance to see him. Beyond that, it's been a week that has gone by far too slowly.

Perhaps knowing that I have my return to Pavia on the horizon is making everything seem that little bit slower. Friday at 15.10 cannot come soon enough. I've never flown Ryanair before, and the idea of actually having to fly to Bergamo with them is mighty scary, as they seem stricter than most airlines -- I even think my usual hand luggage is oversized by their measurements, something Easyjet never have a problem with because it's a backpack...just a little bigger. When you start selling your own carry-on cases, everyone else knows you have issues.

So, what I have done this week, besides vegetating, and staying up well past my bedtime to discuss future plans and musical taste, was travelling! I went to Zaragoza; finally, real Spain. I forgot how much I loved Catalan until they stopped playing "Propera parada: [station name]" on the announcements as soon as we got into Zaragoza itself. I guess they only play it for most of the journey because of La Franja being a Catalan speaking region of Aragon. Who knows?

Anyway, Zaragoza is a nice place, but it's not exactly awe-inspiring. Getting off at El Portillo is probably better than Delicias, because then you don't have to walk 40minutes before you see anything more than the everyday. I know I like getting away from tourism, and loved wandering the campos in the Castello sestiere of Venice, where there wasn't a tourist in sight, but Zaragoza is just too big for all of that -- all you need to see begins at the AljaferĂ­a, and a trip to the Expo site is an added bonus later on. Admittedly, if we ignore the real, modern city itself, then it's a lovely, non-typical Spanish city. The one thing that must be mentioned is that the Basilica del Pilar actually put the fear of God into me for a few minutes -- I thought San Marco in Venice made me feel small, but this was some other animal, complete with devoted Spaniards praying non-stop. If Christianity ever felt like its power was waning, this basilica would prove that people are still obsessing.

So, I'm rambling because I don't have much to say about it. Sure, go there if you want, but don't mark it down as a "must see" when you're in Spain. Maybe I'm just not as taken aback by Spanish cities as I was by Italian ones? Or maybe they really aren't as great as everyone makes out. On the plus side, I had some really good company for the day!


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