“Abrígate, abrígate!” Carmen insisted that I put on at least two more layers, a scarf, and gloves. We were, after all, going to the “pre-Pyrenees” to the Castle of Loarre. Joking that we’d be on the lookout for Orlando Bloom (The Kingdom of Heaven, a movie starring him, was filmed in and around the castle), we headed out with Carmen’s friend, Paloma.
We first stopped in Huesca (the capital of the province to the north of Zaragoza), for some post-breakfast coffee, which turned into a second breakfast when we bought a croissant-type bun. Since Paloma used to work in Huesca, she gave us a quick private tour of the two most famous churches, one from the thirteenth century.
Our next destination was Bolea to visit the Colegiata de Santa María la Mayor, another pretty little cathedral. I enjoyed applying my knowledge of Roman, Gothic, and Romanesque architecture from my art history class to the various churches.
Finally we arrived in Loarre and drove to the defensive castle, perched atop a small rocky mountain.
The castle was beautiful, a labyrinth of arches, two small chapels, and little towers. The weather was perfect as well: I actually ended up taking off my coat, scarf, gloves, and sweatshirt. The view from the castle was brilliant, overlooking various cultivated fields and little olive groves.
We finished our day trip with a grand lunch in Ayerbe on the way back to Zaragoza. We didn’t find Orlando Bloom or prince charming, but it was definitely worth the trip.