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De Madrid al Cielo

Last Saturday I forced myself out of bed at an ungodly hour to join two bus-loads of fellow Erasmus students on a trip to Zaragoza, a city about half way between Madrid and Barcelona. We were going to see the Fiestas del Pilar, an annual celebration in honour of the Virgen del Pilar. The whole city turned out for a massive parade of people dressed in the traditional Aragon costume, all carrying flowers, waiting their turn to lay them as an offering to the patron saint of Zaragoza. The focus of the festival is at the enormous basilica near the river, next to which the thousands of bouquets are stacked up to make an impressive display.

It was quite a spectacle (the amount of people taking part would be unheard of in England) and you got the impression that the whole city really grinds to a halt to have a…

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