Zaragoza - The twelfth step ... Three months in Spain - CycleBlaze

June 2, 2022


We had our earliest start for the trip this morning, getting out of the gate about twenty past seven.  We would have got away even earlier had we been able to get an earlier breakfast.  The route was a mixed bag again but with a light tailwind to help us along for much of the day it seemed a lot less tedious than yesterday.  All in all I think we were quite fortunate in being able to find a good route given that we ended the day at Spain's fifth largest city.

Lots of wheat fields and also the occasional field of maize. In between there are industrial areas of various sizes, lots of wind turbines and an ever-present network of power lines.
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The first half of the ride, to Alagón, was on a good sealed surface. It was pretty flat, the only "hills" being the bridges over the motorway and railway lines.
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At Alagón we stopped for a second breakfast.  At this point we were once again navigated to a (surely illegal) crossing of the railway lines and a few rough-ish unsealed sections before we found ourselves on a cycle path through the town of La Joyosa.  We noticed that none of the local cyclists were using the cycle path, and with good reason because it came to an abrupt halt.

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The turquoise monster ate the rest of the cycle path.
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The ride into Zaragoza was on some great-to-dodgy cycle path alongside the Rio Ebro.  We spent some time having a look at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar and the Catedral del Salvador (from the outside).  Both are rather strange looking buildings.  The Catedral del Salvador was built on the Roman forum of Augustus and on the main mosque from Moorish times, the minaret of which has been included in the bell tower.  Additions have come in various styles - Romanesque, Gothic, Baroque, Neo-Classical - and from the outside, to be quite honest, it looks like a bit of a dogs breakfast. I am sure the interior must be more impressive.

The towers of the Basilica are visible from a long way off and are its most striking feature.  Its construction started in the late seventeenth century but it was apparently built at the location where some believe that St James the Apostle had a vision of the Virgin Mary and where he had a chapel built.

The Basilica with a fifteenth century stone bridge over the Rio Ebro in the foreground.
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Metal lamp posts and dogs urine seem to be a bad combination.
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We are spending the night at the Ibis Budget Hotel, chosen solely because it has air-conditioning and without any regard for its poor location with respect to the Old City and any Orange mobile phone stores (our data SIM is about to expire).  We have enough time in hand to accommodate a short day with a corresponding late start tomorrow which should enable us to renew the data SIM before we leave Zaragoza.

Today's ride: 57 km (35 miles)
Total: 2,418 km (1,502 miles)

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