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Saturday, November 12, 2011

France/Spain 2011 - Day 7, Part 4 - Loarre Castle

"The outcome of any serious research can only be to make two questions grow where only one grew before." - Thorstein Veblen

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France/Spain 2011
Day 7 - 23rd March - Loarre Castle
(Part 4)

On my way to the airport, a car stopped to let me cross the road and someone on the bus gave up his seat to me. This was a refreshing change from my last vacation, in China.

I was very happy to head to the airport, since it would mean I could unload my 2.8kg of duck eggs - 1/3 the weight of my checkin baggage. That said, this was the shortest time I’d ever spent in a city, reaching the hostel at 7pm and leaving at 11am. Though that couldn't beat the guy arriving at Strasbourg at 8pm and leaving at 10+am.

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Covered urinals at the airport - I'm trying to understand why you would do this

Tellingly, even at the airport shops, the staff didn't speak English.

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The car we got. An auto car would've attracted a more-than-100% premium due to relatively late booking.

For some reason the car kept stalling when I drove it. I later discovered that this was because I was going into third gear instead of first (the last time I'd done a stick had been in 2006). In any event I didn't do most of the driving - despite forgetting to add a second driver (kids: remember to add a second driver if you're not the only one driving).

Then came arguably the highlight of my day.

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Krispy Kreme

Our first stop was Loarre Castle, dating from the 11th century, which the tentative WHS list calls "undoubtedly the best in all of Aragon".

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Loarre Castle

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Abandoned Warehouse aka Entrance building/Visitors' Centre

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Camera panorama of the Castle and its Valley

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Valley - manual stitch

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Loarre Castle

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Approach

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Walls

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Tower and countryside

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Dog

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Wall sides

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Climbing up to keep

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Walls from above

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Keep walls

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Entrance

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Stairs up

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I felt a little sad for Spain (or Aragon, rather) as the interior was gutted out.

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Church of St Peter:

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Altar

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Columns

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Capital

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Altar

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Church

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I can't remember why I took this

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Bars

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Arch and background

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Passage

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French school group

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Outer face

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Valley

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Climbing into peril - the area was cordoned off

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Distance marker. I didn't recognise the names

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Gate

After exploring the castle, we had:

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Churros
I preferred the Clarke Quay Alegro version as the chocolate was sweeter

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Road and Castle

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Castle from afar

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Then there was a very odd sight:

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Catapult in the middle of nowhere

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Playground in the middle of nowhere (beside the catapult)

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I call this "NIMBY"

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There was some bridge trail called "Route of the Bridges". Notice how they talk about "the Roman occupation". What have the Romans ever done for Spain?

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Failed bridge

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Murillo de Gállego

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Paintball alley

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Plaque about the Pyrénées

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River, Hill

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Is this a gorge or a valley?

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Apparently LED candles and covering up in churches are a Mediterranean thing (though you see this in France too).
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