Yesterday: lots of travel and a bit of golfball-sized hail

Well, I didn’t actually see the golfball sized hail. But I was woken up the night before last by something that sounded like the seventy-six trombonists beating on snare drums, and became aware that my roommates were closing the window. I didn’t actually get up to see the hail, but everyone who saw it (including the people who were caught out in it) told me that it was huge (close to the size of golf balls, anyway. Ping pong balls, at least).

We spent yesterday traveling, which was seven or eight hours on the bus. We did stop for lunch at Zaragoza (Saragosa or Tharagotha).

Zaragoza is home to, most notably, La Catedral de Nuestra Señora del Pilar (the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar), a huge Baroque edifice. We weren’t allowed to take pictures there, either, but that was okay, because there wasn’t anything that I wanted to take pictures of. It exemplified all the things I don’t like about the Baroque style, dark and overdone and ponderous, and we sort of wandered through in a daze, tried not to disturb the services going on (this seemed to be an area of major pilgrimage for people middle-aged and up; we were the only young people I saw), looked at the pillar, forgot to check for the Goya painting on one of the ceilings, and wandered out again, feeling a bit overwhelmed.

This is La Plaza de Nuestra Señora de Pilar; the church is on the left. We took a few pictures, got some lunch, had ice cream at a place that for once wasn’t horribly overpriced (mind you, it’s more than I would have paid for that much ice cream in the states), and hung out in the plaza, where we listened to music and I flew my kite (which, I was surprised to note, did very well in the vague breeze. And then we got back on the bus and drove for another four hours.

We arrived at our hotel in Barcelona last night; I discovered that for some reason I can’t call my Australian relatives (who happen to be here right now), but my mom is wonderful and got them to call me, so that’s okay. I also discovered that my map is a piece of junk, but it becomes more useful as I start to learn my way around.


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