Tuesday, 31 July 2012

27-28 June 2012 – Teruel

It was late afternoon when we arrived in Teruel.  We were told that we would not be having our evening meal in the hotel due to some problems over cost and selection of meals.  So we were left to find somewhere suitable.   After hot and sunny days we arrived in heavy rain.   But it soon cleared and we set out to explore the city and find somewhere suitable to eat.

We are not football fans, and were anxious to avoid the crowded bars all intent on watching the Spain v Portugal match.   However it soon became clear that if we wanted to eat we would have to watch the match.
So we settled for an excellent compromise.   We would watch this excited family group as they watched the football match.  All very Spanish, with the husbands at one end of the table watching the football and the wives and children at the other end chatting and enjoying the meal.   Excellent meal and very enjoyable entertainment.   We left before the match went into overtime, but gather from the roars of approval that Spain won!
Next morning we hired an audio tour from the tourist information.   We each had a cassette player and map, which we used to find our way around the city and discover something of its history.

Teruel is a very small city, and we had easily walked around the old city the previous evening looking for somewhere suitable to eat.

However with the audio tour we discovered so much more.   It’s an ideal way to explore an unknown city as we much prefer exploring on foot and could stop and sit when we wanted.

The city is famous as the home of Diego de Marcilla and Isabel de Segura, the ill fated 13th century lovers.   They tell the story of the city on the audio tour, and it is particularly well done in English.   Strongly recommended for anyone who has a short time to discover the secrets of Teruel.

And so ended our busy four day coach tour of Aragon.   We knew little of this beautiful area before the trip and feel that this was an excellent introduction.   We only saw the highlights and hope to return in the future to explore more of the area at leisure

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

27 June 2012 – Albarracin

A three hour coach drive through the mountains brought us to the hill village of Albarracin.  The coach dropped us at the large coach park, which is at the foot of the hill on which the town is built.

Another very hot day, and no one enjoyed the long slog uphill to the town square.   Most made straight for one of the many bars around the square, but Jan and I had enough of sitting on the coach and wanted to explore whilst we still had the energy.

The town is a photographer’s delight, and it’s easy to see why it is so popular as an excursion from nearby Tereul.

We could not find the official tourist office, but did get a free town map from one of the many tourist friendly shops.   With its help we made our way to the cathedral, which is the highest part of the town.   Unfortunately it was closed for repairs!

We followed a path around the town for a short distance, but returned as soon as it started to go downhill.   The temperature was rising and we were tiring.   It was time to find a bar and get out of the sun.

The town is a maze of narrow streets, and all of the bars seemed to be in or about the town square.  So we decided to make our way back there.

On the way we found this shaded seating area which provided a welcome break from the sun.

We did find a quiet bar away from the square, and after lunch we made our way back towards the coach park.   We still have two hours to pass, and spent an hour following the river path which leads around the base of the town.

We had about four hours in this beautiful town, which was probably too long on such a hot and humid day.   We ran out of energy after an hour or so, and then it was a matter of finding somewhere cool to wait for the coach.   It would be nice to return in the spring or autumn and be able to really enjoy exploring the narrow streets and climb to the town walls on the hill above.