Lleida

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Walking in to Zaragoza, I was very visibly reminded of the effect of the economic recession in Spain. I passed endless rows of commercial properties displaying signs that they were for sale or lease. Most were empty, but some still seemed to house businesses that had managed to keep their head above water.
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Zaragoza itself was nice and I spent a day walking around town, eventually finding a depressed serpent in a tiny pool, not far from the river.
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Heading out of town, there weren’t a lot of options and I more or less had to walk along one of the larger roads that was seriously busy, mostly with semi-trailers.
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At least the weather was better, sunshine but still cold!
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I have camped out a few nights, but it’s been very cold so I have been trying to find cheap rooms. There are small towns along the way, so it usually works out but it is playing havoc with my budget. As soon as I get to warmer climes, I will have to use the tent more or less all the time.
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There have been plenty of cafes and truck stops to feed the caffeine itch and get warmed up in.
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It’s strange, the road I have been following parallels a large,straight motorway, and yet nearly all the heavy traffic is on this, smaller road. The motorway is a tollway and probably too expensive?  Is it smart thinking to build a beautiful, straight road, suitable for heavy traffic and then make it too expensive for that traffic to use? Apart from the fact that it means that I have to keep a nervous eye on all the trucks hurrying towards me, it doesn’t seem to make much sense, economically or environmentally.
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The days have started out cold and foggy, but have gotten warmer and clearer as the day progresses.
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The landscape has been flat and a bit boring, but there are one or two interesting sights along the way.
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Depressingly, the side of the road has been filled with cans and plastic bottles. If there is a refund system in Spain, then it’s not working!
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As I approached Fraga, the road started to head down and I was confronted with a compact wall of fog.
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The fog has been with me for the last couple of days, not even lifting during the middle of the day, and the temperature has not risen into double digits. It’s seldom been more than 3 or 4 degrees….
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The world has become white and cold and the only places with a bit of colour and warmth are indoors.
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I am already pretty close to Barcelona and as I will have no problems getting there in time for Christmas, I have decided to take a few days off and do some sightseeing. I intend to rent a car here in Lleida and head towards Andorra. Not yet sure where I will go, but I’ll spend a few days and nights in the car and explore the area around Andorra. Just hope the fog lifts so I will be able to see the sights!
🙂