Travel writer Jack Levitt talks us through his explorations of three major cities in the Far EastWritten by Jack Levitt on 10th December 2017
A Postcard From: Zaragoza
Travel writer, Kirstie, writes from the beautiful, historical Spanish city of Zaragoza
Zaragoza is one of Spain’s largest cities. Despite this, the city is not very well-known by tourists; who will instead opt for the more popular cities of Barcelona, Madrid or Seville, to name a few.
Zaragoza is a lively, vibrant city with a colourful and religious history. Its most famous landmark is La Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar (the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar), a Baroque-style cathedral. Climb the tower in order to see the entirety of Zaragoza from the top. During October each year there are nine days of festivities to commemorate the Virgin Mary, called las Fiestas del Pilar, where locals dress up in traditional clothing, offer flowers, and end the festivities with a firework display over the River Ebro.
The Ebro is the second largest river in the Iberian Peninsula, and can be overlooked from Puente de Piedra (also known as The Bridge of Lions), a famous bridge that connects parts of the city. From this bridge you can gain a spectacular view of the basilica in all its glory, picture perfect for any Instagram account.
Other religious sights to see include the famous Aljafería, and La Seo, as well as the Goya museum - Zaragoza was the artist's birthplace. However, if you want to take a break from religious and artistic culture, there is also a high street full of shops should you wish to stock up on the latest Spanish fashion and cafés and restaurants at every corner serving local cuisine including jamón de Teruel (a city south of Zaragoza in the Aragon region) and Aragonese lamb, a speciality in this particular part of Northern Spain. When it comes to winding down at the weekend, you can take a stroll in the beautiful Parque Grande, where the fountains and water displays majestically light up at night, before hitting the local bars on a Thursday night for 'juepinchos', where everywhere in Casco Antiguo sells tapas and beer or wine for €2 a serving.
Zaragoza is an authentic city that truly displays its Spanish culture with a mix of the old and new, at a price that you can actually afford to visit more than just once every summer - and besides, if you really want to visit the capital, it's only a 75 minute train away.