Day Tripping to Zaragoza

So a fairly well known fact in Origami circles is that there are Origami Museums, few compare in size to the Spanish one in Zaragoza.  When Jo and I had decided to spend time in Barcelona, we found Zaragoza was a doable day trip from Barcelona Sants regional train station, so a planned visit was hatched.

Barcelona Sants is a regional rail hub, different to the metro. We will also use this station to depart for Provence in a few days, but it also provides access to many other places in Catalunya and beyond. After locating our platform ( via a very helpful man at the Information counter), we had our bags (and everything else) xrayed before arriving on the platform to find the train already boarding.

We boarded AVE-S112 High Speed train, allocated seats a lot like an airplane, and took off. The train sped underground until it cleared the central city and burst out into the light as farmland flew by. For a lot of the journey the train was topping 295 km/h as it hurtled stop to stop.

After 2 hours, we arrived at Zaragoza train station, and de-trained, got some refreshments then headed over to the Bus Station, to catch a C1 circle line bus, and rode it for 45 mins the remaining half way around to the terminus. After a brief bit of nav we were picking through the back streets to EMOZ, located on the 2nd Floor of Centro de Historias, Plaza San Agustín 2.

I had been in contact with the museum ever since there seemed a chance for me to visit, and it was lovely to finally meet an online friend named Jesus. We nerded out a bit, talked about the current exhibition and about Yoshizawa’s works, and particularly the work of Eric Joisel. 

The museum has, on display a number of Joisel’s original works, including one of his gnome orchestras, his large-scale Rhinoceros and his large scale Pegasus.

Jesus let us sneak peak in the store room at Joisel’s large Hippopotamus also, all master works from a genius artist much missed. 

We talked folding, design, and it turns out he is working on an interesting origami publication of endangered Spanish animals, and asked if I was interested in test folding closer to publication date. What an honor indeed, naturally I said yes. That should be fabulous and something else to be involved in when I finally return home.

We parted company with the promise of future collaboration, then Jo and I took our time appreciating the many rooms of exhibits. It was good to see so many original works from legends in the field, including Victor Coeurjoly, Robert Lang, Junior Fritz Jaquett, Kashiwamura, Jozsef Zsebe, a host of different Vietnamese designers, and even a tiny work from Yoshizawa himself. We are not worthy.

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Walking Barcelona

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Our first full day in Barcelona was devoted to orientation and walking tours. We woke fairly early and got ready to go out, rugged up because it can be chilly in the mornings and headed out. A brisk walk through nippy temperatures and lazy breezes saw us arrive at a brunch cafe. Jo opted for … Continue reading »

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Adeus Portugal, Hola Barcelona!

Our taster of Portugal, Lisboa, was a real treat, and as we wound up our visit there is much to look back at fondly. The people are warm and welcoming, the food is fresh and interesting and the scenery amazing. We traveled in Spring, and found it warm and sunny – we are packing for all climates (Switzerland ahead) so have mostly warm clothes – stripping down layers to stop overheating was something we got good at in this temperate climate.

Any visitor to Lisbon must be prepared for a couple of things – the hills (as only the coastal fringe is flat) and the feet-shredding tessellated pavements and roads. Even short journeys can be exhausting. There are lifts, funiculars and the like but often queues and charges. Navigation is necessary, lots of the city has twisty narrow streets – easy to get lost, and that can be fun also.

I want to mention tiles, ceramic decorative tiles to be precise. Older buildings are clad with them, often their own unique pattern and one of my photographic missions was to capture as many different tile patterns as possible. I barely scratched the surface of the variety.

Food can be pretty simple but delicious, one of our best fish meals ever was in a little family run restaurant half way up our hill (a recommendation from our host). Seafood abounds, is pretty cheap and often charcoal cooked to maximise the flavour and freshness. 

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Categories: Barcelona, Curio, Food, Lisbon, Portugal, Spain, Walking | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment