We've embraced the 'Slow' philosophy as a way of life - what's the hurry?. Taking time to smell the roses (usually on a glass of Viognier) is more our style. Having spent more then 3 years on the road, slow travel has become a way of life. We have revised our plans completely and now focus on quality, not quantity, slowly.
We left our camp and new friends in Villanova and headed west via Zaragoza. This is a city that has grown enormously very recently and our caravan park was really in the burbs, however it was easy to get to the old city and enjoy what it has to offer. The 2 main attractions for us were the Cathedral and the Basilica.
The cathedral was started in the 14th century and would have been lovely initially with its elegant columns and beautiful vaulted ceiling however was ruined in following centuries by the addition of side chapels of every kind of bad taste Rococo you’ve ever seen.
The Cathedral - no photos allowed inside
The Basilica is a massive monument to 18th century over the top grand ‘look what we can do ‘ architecture. The whole place is completely soulless as far as I’m concerned. I thought it looked like a bank and Lawrence thought a train station.
We headed to Aranjuez (south of Madrid) via the Autopista as that was our only option. Heavy fog enveloped us to start, then sunshine, then fog.
We’d heard that you can be readily robbed in Spain, however we didn’t expect it to be by the Police. We were pulled over on the motorway by the local Plod and were fined 100 euros on the spot, cash, for having a dodgy headlight, driving in fog. Obviously a slow day for the Guardia Civil. Bloody highway robbery. Lawrence, fortunately, restrained from punching one of them.
Lawrence trying to be polite to the Guardia Civil
We drove through really interesting country. So different from the soft autumn colours of the French landscape. This is arid harsh country, with colours similar to Australia. Some of it resembled a cross between South Australia and Arizona. We drove between high flat plateaus and rugged hills of limestone, with some snow capped peaks in the distance.
After driving through endless miles of industrial and suburban sprawl around Madrid, we arrived in our camp set in the grounds of a former castle, by the river. It was a lovely vista when we arrived, having expected the worst.
The weather is still sunny, if cold. This morning, it was so cold in Zaragoza that our gas stove struggled to work!!
We are here for about a week to see Aranjuez, Madrid and Toledo.