December 19, 2013
The fog in Spain lies mainly in the plain.
Two mega-cars from Scuderia (a Challenge and a GT3) + a completely empty Aragon race track in Alcaniz, Spain + a fog thicker than school-dinner semolina = tragedy.
You drive in an exquisite bit of motorsport kit, but the pedal stays a good way off the metal. Visibility is down to silly meters, and you’re trying to get some decent speed up. Rather, you’d want to. But you’re not as silly as those meters… So, like I say… a tragedy.
So, since I’ve not much to tell you about our weather-impaired racing attempts, let me tell you a bit about something else… lodgings! For these partic digs are really worth mentioning…
Parador de Alcañiz is a hotel set within a 12th century Spanish castle right at the top of the area’s highest hill. Now, if it had been better weather, I’d be singing this place’s praises to the heavens – they say the panoramic views are mind-blowing. But again – the potential euphoria was torpedoed by the tragic weather! Visibility not just silly but superciliously silly.
The place is part of the state-owned chain called Parador, with 94 luxury hotels all over the country, all of which are housed in historical – mostly ancient – buildings. The organization was founded in 1928 by King Alfonso XIII to develop tourism in Spain. I think it’s worked.
I reckon hikes around the hills here in a sunnier yet off-peak time and staying in such castles would be just the ticket. Agh (as usual!), maybe next time. Probably when a pensioner :).
The rest of the photos are here.
Now for a summary of the week…
This Spanish leg was the last of a reasonably quick cross-Europe gallop. Moscow – Brussels – Lucerne – Rome – Maranello – Alcaniz – home. Two and a half free days, the rest of the time the usual meetings, speeches, interviews, making acquaintances, and lots of time spent moving about from place to place to place to place… Sometimes things get a bit hectic, the head gets a bit fuzzy, the ears pop, and the eyes glaze over. But heck, it’s worth it. Fun, useful, instructive and insightful!