From 22nd to 26th September we were lucky enough to accompany the Cultural Association of Women Juan Diego, located in Bormujo (Seville), as guides. As good Andalusians they knew how to transmit all their energy and sympathy to us during the 5 days of the route. We start on Sunday at the Aljafería Palace, ending the morning at the Expo in Ranillas. In the afternoon we visit the Seo and the Pilar, ending with a first contact with the capital of the Ebro.
The next day was very full. In the morning visiting a winery in Cariñena, passing through Fuendetodos, and ending the morning in Belchite Viejo. This last visit reminded us of the black history of the Civil War, a testimony engraved on the ruins of its buildings. The afternoon promised with a visit to Tudela and Tarazona, two essential destinations to visit the old town and confirm that Navarre and Aragon played an important role in medieval times, when the peninsula was an amalgamation of cultures.
Huesca is formed around these two cities. Your capital is an essential stop to understand Aragon. The cathedral and the town hall are enough claims to observe the importance of the city during a time characterized by clashes between Muslims and Christians. As a complement we visit the Provincial Museum, which reviews the history of Huesca from Prehistory to the present day. In the afternoon, after getting our strength from the hotel, we visit the village of Jaca, one of the most important points of the Aragonese Pyrenees, capital of the Aragon Valley, a strategic place due to its proximity to France, and an important centre in the medieval period of the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago. We visit the Citadel, the Rapitan Fort and its wall as examples of the military past, but the jewel in the crown is its cathedral, a reference of the Aragonese Romanesque and the peninsula.
Our last day in Jaca was going to be dedicated to the valleys. First it would be the Valley of Hecho, we visited the town that bears the same name, characterized by its monumental streets, its unique houses with its covered chimneys, and its church with Romanesque vestiges. After a small incursion, we started from the sculpture of the couple of Chesos in their typical costume, heading for Ansó and its valley. Ansó received us with the hangover from his parties held a week earlier, but this was no excuse to walk down the slopes, enter the stupendous church, and after a picnic contemplate the museum of the Ansotano costume, a singularity that has remained until very recently. The afternoon was reserved for the third valley, Zuriza’s valley, with its cuts and mountains mixed with the cattle, and under this spot the comments of Felix Rodriguez de la Fuente sounded in the distance, explaining the flight of the harrier.
The last day I invited to the farewell, but before we had a small surprise, the city of Calatayud, its walled enclosure and its Muslim castle on the top, give name to a city, which also had a Roman past under the name of Bilbilis. But what really impressed us were its Mudejar towers, the result of this crossroads of cultures that the city breathes.
Finally, this excursion through the living history of Aragon gives us a small lesson as guides, the affection and trust transmitted by this group of people, which left us with the feeling of having done our job well.