Thursday, October 18, 2012

That time we drove somewhere no car should ever go

We relied on our Tom Tom for Western Europe GPS iPhone app to navigate during our road trip. This worked remarkably well, until we reached Zaragoza. In Tom Tom's defence, Google Maps provided us with the exact same routing ('B' is the location of our hotel):

Looks easy right? Except, this is what 'Calle de Alfonso I' looks like:

Very pretty. And very pedestrianized. So we circled a few times, avoiding it, trying to find a street that looked more car-friendly. All to no avail. So we figured, hey, if Tom Tom and Google Maps agree, we must be able to drive down it. Right? Right?

So we did. And we ended up here. Where no car should ever go, at the top of a set of stairs in front of Zaragoza's main square and basilica (this would kind of be like driving up to the front door of St. Peter's in Rome). If we had kept driving, we would have ended up in the middle of Tuesday evening mass.

Groups of locals erupted in laughter all around us, shaking their heads at us silly tourists. We tucked our tail between our legs, made a painstakingly slow 8-point turn, and got out of there.

I had just finished telling Mike hours earlier that I never ever blush, not even when I'm really really embarrassed. Ha.

- Jess

p.s. Driving directions to Zaragoza's main square (Plaza del Pilar and Plaza La Seo): If you want to park as close as possible to Zaragoza's main square, there are underground parking lots directly beneath the plaza. Route your GPS to Peunte de Santiago, then simply follow the 'P' signs toward the cathedrals. Parking lot entrances are located between the Basilica and Town Hall, and at the west end of the square near the Roman wall. Parking here is pricey - €18 overnight.

date: september 4
weather: sunny, with a chance of public humiliation


  1. Hahahaha!

    We had similar problems getting to our hotel in Granada. The roads it was trying to take us to were public transport or pedestrian only and we just couldn't find a way to get there without breaking the law. It's funny looking back on it, not so funny in the moment.

    1. It was funny a few hours later, once we had a couple glasses of wine :)

  2. I actually cringed for you when I read this. At least you have a great story to tell :)

  3. hahah oh my gosh! i can't imagine driving in an town in europe so barvo to you guys. i would have had a panic attack

    1. Haha I practically did, and I wasn't even driving :)


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