How we snubbed Madrid, overheated and stumbled on gold in Zaragoza

How we snubbed Madrid, overheated and stumbled on gold in Zaragoza


You often ask how we decide where to go. Here is a perfect example.

Yesterday morning I had an apartment organized for Madrid. All was well – free parking, plenty of room, good access to the city and bargained down price. Except, the cost was still a bit high for us at 70 euros per night.

We spent most of the day walking around the city of Bilbao and stopping at what felt like each of its many playgrounds. At one fine bench, Mr.Blab starts to mumble something about not going to Madrid, maybe going through Zaragoza. We realize we have no particular reason for going to the capital, other than it is – Madrid… And this is how a plan starts to crumble.

Trying to swallow my annoyance at wasting my time the day and night before organizing everything, I agree to a new direction BUT he has to make it doable by the end of the day. He agrees.

I end up organizing it.

That is how Zaragoza plops on our expanding map.

The road there starts beautiful with green hills and a lake or two.



Ugliness rears its ugly (yes, double ugly….oups triple) head and we end up like this:

The umbrella was my idea. Good, no?

Yes, Couch is not enjoying the warm weather as much as us and we have an overheating problem.  This meant that we spent the rest of the journey on alert, staring at that little marker and making sure nothing horrible happens and trying to survive the blowing heater on max every once in a while.

The longest 300km we have had so far.

Zaragoza welcomed us better than expected though. As it turns out we arrived in the middle of its biggest festival – Fiestas del Pilar.  The streets were buzzing, smoke was carrying all sorts of delicious smells around and music could be heard from the streets near and far.


And how come I had never heard of this: Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar?


Please send some good vibes to Couch. He needs it.