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Exploring the Northern Spanish heartlands of Aragon – Part 1

Exploring the Northern Spanish heartlands of Aragon – Part 1

Following the ancient route of the Camino de Santiago…a pilgrim’s route to the Santiago di Compostela… we headed into the centre of Jaca after a quick descent from the Pyrenees… They say Jaca is called the ‘Pearl of the Pyrenees’ and it’s easy to see why with a truly impressive citadel and series of historic buildings. In terms of an overnight stay, we’d opted for the popular & free motorhome aire near the municipal bus station. Another free night is always welcomed when you’re trying to make your way around Europe on under 50 euros a night (for a  family of 4)

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However, if we’d had more time, I think we’d have loved to walk more around Jaca’s amazing citadel… it would have been great to have compared this to the citadels that we studied in Blaye (part of Napoleon & Vauban’s ring of steel) and Dubrovnik… both chances to try a little history ‘road schooling‘… Both girls have loved this chance to ‘see things in person’ was we do our best to try and bring learning to life…
With the rain clearing rapidly we left Jaca to see the city of Zaragoza and it’s amazing Basilica of Our Lady and the Pillar. This vibrant city holds half of the region’s population and is full of life… feisty, sassy and dripping with history… ​
Zaragoza (or Saragossa to locals) is probably one that gets missed from most tours of Spain due to its geography.. Flanked by the Pyrenees, overshadowed by it’s northern/southern neighbours in Barcelona , San Sebastian or the closely located Pamplona (famed for it’s yearly bull running fiesta!) It’s worth you trying to visit Zaragoza…!
We’ve been fortunate to see some of Europe’s best campsites over the past 2 years, and each have had something to remember them by. For instance, Tiroler Zugspitze’s Cable Car or Camping Krk Resort’s ‘infinity pool’ takes some beating…. not to mention Aufenfeld’s panoramic ‘natural alpine lake’ …. But for Playa Montroig, you have to look no further than the palm fringed water slides or perhaps the fantastically comfortable ‘astroturf’ sunbathing area that wraps itself around the vast array of pools.
Sadly, the autumnal weather hit before we’d even seen half of the city’s undoubted charms.. it’s certainly graced by amazing sites such as the Islamic edifice and palace of Alijaferfa to the fascinating Museo del Teatro de Caesaraugusta… yet it’s tapas bars and nightlife is also world renowned… With the weather oscillating between squally showers and bright autumnal sunshine…. we headed to our base in an effort to get an early night to investigate further tomorrow.
We headed for our choice of places to stay… but sadly the CamperContact suggestion near the river banks to the south of the city centre was utterly deserted and a little menacing for us… especially with young girls on board, it simply didn’t make sense to leave this to chance

Unfortunately this is one of the more difficult parts to a road trip with a young family, but needs must so we packed our bags!! And headed south, leaving the rest of Zaragoza for another day… A somewhat sad end to the day yet we are really excited to see Teruel next… Another not always on everyone’s ‘to do list’ but hopefully we’ll be enchanted by the moorish influence on this walled city set in it’s reddish ochre rocks  (some 90mins to the south east of Zaragoza)


so where did we park the bus for the night?

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Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.

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