Alphabet Challenge: Z

I’ve signed onto The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge 2021.

The challenge is to blog the whole alphabet in April and write at least 100 words on a topic that corresponds to the letter of the day. 

Every day, excluding Sundays, I’m blogging about Places I Have Been. The last post will be on Friday, April 30 when I finally focus on the letter Z. 

Z: Zaragoza

I chose the theme: Places I have been for my Alphabet Challenge. I nearly ended this last day of the challenge without the final letter because I couldn’t think of a place I had visited that started with a Z, except Zoo of course. And that seemed a cop out. 

Then I flipped through my travel journal and found Zaragoza. We had stopped there for one night while driving between Toledo and Barcelona in Spain in 2006. My husband and I were on a Road Scholar bus tour. 

The problem with Zaragoza was that I had no memory of the city. That is, until I read my note in the journal. 

After a tour of the city of Zaragoza, our guide took some of the group back to the hotel to await dinner at 9 p.m., allowing the rest of us to stay behind if we wanted. 

I decided, with a few others, to further explore the city. As my travel companions scattered, I found myself alone. Delightfully alone. For the first time on the trip, I wasn’t walking alongside another tourist or my husband. It didn’t bother me that I hadn’t any money or that my husband had inadvertently carried off our camera. 

Without money or a camera, I wasn’t distracted thinking of what to buy or when to take a picture. I wandered about the town without a destination. I lingered in a large market with many stalls holding meats, fruits, nuts, local pottery and art. I ambled up and down the streets. I got lost. With help from the locals, by stammering out my high school Spanish and using lots of hand gestures, I arrived at my hotel in time for dinner. 

How would I have remembered that delightful experience in Zaragoza if I hadn’t had to find a place I had been that started with the letter Z? 

By Marianna Crane

After a long career in nursing--I was one of the first certified gerontological nurse practitioners--I am now a writer. My writings center around patients I have had over the years that continue to haunt my memory unless I record their stories. In addition, I write about growing older, confronting ageism, creativity and food. My memoir, "Stories from the Tenth Floor Clinic: A Nurse Practitioner Remembers" is available where ever books are sold.


  1. What a great piece this is. It is so intimate and while I worried you had no money (Capitalist! ) I only wanted you to be safe and you were more than that! this is a great ending. I hope you make this into a little book and I will buy it!


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