Zamora; Storks and CrossesApril 7 in Spain
Zamora was an impressive sight as we approached it from the opposite side of the river, the town's old stone buildings merging into the defensive wall atop the small cliff that rose from the water.
We skirted round the old town to a spacious parking area next to a play park and outdoor gym with a small wood beyond. Individual side-on bays were separated by low kerbs and a patch of grass. We chose to park at the edge overlooking a sunken stream so that people only walked past us on one side.
Will cooked up a feast of fish and chips and we spent a while looking into canal boat moorings in preparation for the next phase of our adventures. We are loving the way we are living right now but in 3 years, when this grand European tour has ended, we plan to split our time between travelling in the van and living on a narrowboat. The years we spent planning and preparing for vanlife certainly paid off, so we intend to do as much as we can to prepare for boatlife. Waiting lists for good moorings are long so it won't harm to get in there early on.
The following morning two men walked by the van carrying wooden poles with metal crosses and colourful ribbons on the end. Soon afterwards we heard the bang of drums and the lively strains of whistles. Two musicians led a group of around 50 worshipers with these poles, maroon and dark green velvet banners with gold rope trim and a float with a model of Jesus' crucifixion. As the march passed we looked up the date and just as one poor guy who had been left behind was passing, we learned it was the Orthodox Christian Easter (Pascha).
On a walk around the old town we found it exuded Christianity; murals, posters, fretwork crosses on the side of buildings and a castle-like Cathedral. We could well believe the Lonely Planet's assertion that it was one of the best places to see easter parades. The local storks just seemed grateful for the available nest sites, choosing to roost on the bell tower! We visited a viewpoint looking out over the river from where we could see an old stone bridge, but the wind was cold and speeded our return to the van, where we used the good quality double sevice area and set off on the day's travels.Read more