Above: Well-muddled mojitos at Gran Cafe Estrella de Cuba
Gathering for lively conversation over cocktails seems important in Zaragoza, and not just for young late-night partiers spilling out of tapas bars crowding the narrow streets of the city’s famed El Tubo district. People like us, canosos (gray-haired), jockey for hard-to-score tables on neighborhood plazas with college students and families with baby carriages to enjoy beer, wine and gin and tonics at all times of day – our kind of place.
We were there in the late spring, and, with COVID restrictions just loosening up, the few tourists around barely had a chance of winning the competition for outdoor spots. Maybe we were witnessing the first exuberant gatherings locals were having with friends and family they had missed seeing, their first opportunities to finally escape their apartments after the long lockdown, their first reunification with vices given up for Lent. Perhaps this is simply the year-round pursuit of happiness in Zaragoza – a good way to live.
Friendliness and camaraderie are what stood out everywhere. Even the statues on Zaragoza’s plazas welcome abrazos. While Goya is perched out of reach, others sprawl comfortably at ground level inviting children to freely climb into their laps or adults to join them for selfies.
This post consists of unrelated, uncategorized photos offering a mere glimpse of the fifth-largest city in Spain.
Zaragoza, a city where we found even roses sweet and thornless.
And, yes, the mojitos served at Gran Cafe Estrella de Cuba were as good as they look. Salud!