A Subir: The Marvelous Moncayo Mountain…

Over the course of my 9.5 month stay in Zaragoza, I had gone on a grand total of 2 hiking excursions, and while the first was completely terrible, the second definitely set the bar really high for me as far as nature-based trips go!!…

It all took place on a Saturday, a few weeks before I left Zaragoza: Some people from the church I attended there invited me to come along on their day trip to Tarazona, a city that lies to the South of ZGZ Province, and I–always eager to see new places–happily accompanied them!!…The plan was to spend a few hours hiking in El Moncayo, the mountain that lies beside the city and the highest peak within the Sistema Ibérico mountain range (and Spain’s 10th-highest peak)…Afterwards, we were supposed to see Tarazona and have Bible study–unfortunately, we started our hike fairly later in the day, so we didn’t have much time to see the city…But not to worry–there was plenty of visual splendor on the mountainside for us to take in!!…

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Still Breathing: A Quick Catch-Up…

Good Lord–I didn’t think it would get this bad: I know I’ve been really inconsistent over the past year in regard to regularly posting life updates, but I never intended on going on this long without saying ANYTHING–but, then, life…happened…

But don’t worry, folks, I’m not dead, and I actually have a legitimate reason as to why things have been silent as the grave here at my little WordPress site: I’m working!!…Yeah, I’ve been working at a warehouse for the past 2 months now, saving up $$$ for life in my new hometown (a.k.a. Madrid), so I’ve literally been killin’ it with the overtime, and that has made me too busy and exhausted to even think about writing anything of relevance…

However, I’ve decided to battle through my insomnia and essentially recap some of the major things that have happened during my last 2 months in Spain, as well as what I’ve been up to now…

…My “see you later” (NEVER “goodbye”) soireé at the EOI…

Enjoying the Beauty of Tarazona

A few weeks before leaving Zaragoza, I went with some people from church to Tarazona, a small city further south within ZGZ province…Our initial plan was to go hiking on El Moncayo (the mountainside beside the city) before exploring the town and having Bible study, but we arrived fairly late in the day, and the senderismo took longer than planned…Still, ’twas a truly splendid landscape–I couldn’t get enough of those views (or that green)!!…Recap to come eventually!!…

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Seeing Relics At Borja’s Museo De La Colegiata…

O.K., so, to be honest there isn’t really that much to see in Borja–however, if you go spastic over glittering altarpieces, intricately-woven tapestries, and brightly-polished crucifixes, then the Museo de la Colegiata just may tickle your fancy!…

Inaugurated in 2003, the museum’s purpose is to celebrate the cultural and artistic patrimony of the Colegiata de la Santa María, Borja’s most important religious building, which dates back to at least 1120…

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El Ecce Homo: The Most Jacked-Up Portrait Of Christ You’ll Ever See…

YIKES–it’s been basically a month of radio silence on my part!!…My apologies, friends, but I’ve got about a month to go before my auxiliar experience in Zaragoza is done for this year, and lately I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired–but, then again, that’s probably due to a mix of the feelings of physical fatigue and general aimlessness I’ve been having lately…

But, enough ranting–I need to talk about the little excursion I made to Borja during Semana Santa, which is a pueblo of around 5,000 about an hour south of ZGZ…I had the opportunity to visit this place with a group of people from the church that I attend (because, hey–all expenses-paid for 50€), and even though it’s not the most spectactuar place I’ve ever been to, it was a fairly nice place to walk around…

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Sledding The Slopes Of Candanchú…

For some time, one of my goals has been to visit the Pyrenees: I love mountains, and I wanted to see first hand those stunning landscapes that I had only seen in pictures…Well, one week before vacation was over, some people from church told me they were going sledding in Candanchú, a ski resort in Huesca Province that’s only a few kilometers from the French border…They asked me if I wanted to come, and because I’m always down for taking a trip, I readily accepted!!

Oh, and should I mention that it was my first time sledding???…Like, ever…At first I was a little hesitant, but once someone went down with me a couple of times, I realized that it’s actually not THAT bad!!…

Now, I didn’t actually get to take pictures of the actual festivities–but I got quite a few of those beautiful snow-capped mountains!!…

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Renovating Splendor: La Catedral De Albarracín…

O.K.–so back to the Christmas vacay recaps!!…

Today, I take you back to the town of Albarracín, which is renowned as one of Spain’s most beautiful towns…Because I only had the late afternoon/evening there, I only had time to go to the Catedral there (well, I mean, not that there’s that much to see in Albarracín)–but that definitely did not leave me disappointed!!…

I visited the Catedral on a little tour hosted by the Fundación de Santa María, an organization that uses the profits from the various guided visits that they offer in order to preserve, protect, and promote (yay, alliteration!!) the town’s cultural and artistic heritage…Part of those funds go toward the the Catedral: At some point in the 20th century, someone discovered frescoes underneath the gray paint that had come to cover the walls, and since then there has been a painstaking effort to completely uncover and restore them–I’m so glad my 2.50€ is going towards such an awesome cause!!…

Completed in 1600, the Catedral is a shining example of late-Renaissance splendor, something that is apparent despite all the obvious visual reminders of the restoration in process…

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Magic: Albarracín At Twilight…

O.K., so as I’ve pointed out before, I’ve decided to take a little break on my post series–after all, I need to find a lot more inspiring locales and amazing tapas before I can write about them and truly do them justice!!…So, for now, let me continue to captivate you all with more photos from my Christmas Break excursion, :-)…

This week, I take you to the steeply-inclined, cobblestone streets of Albarracín, the village in Teruel province that’s often cited as one of, if not the, most beautiful villages in Spain…During the day, it’s fairly obvious as to why it carries that reputation: As you walk down the steep, ambling pathways of this compact, mountainside pueblo, multiple varieties of pink and orange are emitted with a faint, warm glow from the rustic, Medieval-style buildings–something that somehow intensifies with the steady passage into dusk…

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The Alleyways of Teruel…

O.K., so I’ve decided to take a little break from my “Zesty Zaragoza” series–after all, I have quite a bit of recaps to get through from my winter trips!!…

As indicated in my previous monthly recap, I had the privilege of visiting Teruel, a small city of around 35,000, and the capital of the province of the same name…

I came to Teruel because, as a huge admirer of mudéjar architecture–that is, the unique style of architecture inspired by the artistic flair of Moorish Spain…However, while ambling through the streets of this tiny town on that Sunday afternoon, my little smartphone just couldn’t get enough of the little callejones (alleyways), 🙂

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A Zaragoza Christmas…

O.K., so, I was planning to do this post when it was actually Christmas (or at least Boxing Day), but this being the end of the year (and me being on vacation) means that I’m feeling particularly lazy–and for that reason, I didn’t write entries for the “Zesty Zaragoza” and “The Tapa of the Week” series, either…

But, hey–at least I’m doing it now, right???…

I was originally planning to simply stay in my piso, chill, and watch Christmas specials: I was completely alone, with my landlady and her son gone to Huesca, so I was perfectly at my leisure to do just that!!…

However, for some reason, I had so much pent-up energy and the insatiable urge to move, so I bundled up and went out to the calle, wandering aimlessly for a few hours, and that in itself was inexplicably magical–to be surrounded with the energy of hundreds of people, admiring the various displays around the town felt extremely satisfying…

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Livin’ “Dat Expat Life”: Monthly Recap #3…

Welp, another month has come and gone here in España–jeez, the time is moving fast!!…

Here’s a basic rundown of what I experienced this past month:

Feelin’ 22

On the 22nd of November, I celebrated my completion of 22 years on this Earth!!…First, my sweet landlady surprised me with a chocolate-truffle cake, then I had a get-together that evening with some pretty awesome people…It was a time of good laughs, good convo, and an awesome Captain America coffee mug, :-)…

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The Tapa of the Week (Entries 10 & 11)…

Yes, I know that I slacked off last week (again)–but cut me some slack!!…Being on the verge of my vacation made me feel REALLY lazy, but now that I’m officially libre, that means more time for blogging (hypothetically)–yay!!…

As per usual, because I was A.W.O.L. last week, there’s two entries for this week!!…

I recently went to a bar in El Tubo called La Ternasca…The name is a play on the meat they specialize in serving: ternasco (lamb)…

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Zesty Zaragoza: Plaza del Justicia…

Hey, lovely readers–I apologize for being A.W.O.L. last week, but considering that I only have ONE. MORE. DAY. of work until mis vacaciones, I’ve just been feeling really lazy…

However, here I continue with the “Zesty Zaragoza” series!!…Today, I take you to one of, if not my favorite plaza in the city–La Plaza del Justicia...

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