We skipped Pamplona the last time we were in this area. Not this time. I intend to walk my Camino here (from St. Jean Pied de Port or Roncesvalles) sometime in the near future so here I am. Con mi hermana. No running of the bulls — that happens in July. But we’d walk the same bull run route along Calle Estafeta while chasing Ernest (Hemingway, who else?).
Plaza Del Castillo is a good start. Before the 3rd largest bullring was constructed, bullfights were held aquí! Lovely plaza, adorned by centuries-old buildings including Ernest Hemingway’s favorite haunts. You must be mindful NOT to be distracted on your way here. Many cafes and shops are named Hemingway something, to get your attention. Not surprising, considering that Ernest (yes, we’re on 1st name basis) put Pamplona on the map & within the tourist radar through his novel “The Sun Also Rises”.
We were hungry after some walking by the time we reached Plaza Del Castillo and spotted Cafe Iruña. Too early for Spanish dinner (around 9-10pm), we settled for cerveza para mi, zumo de naranja for my coughing hermana. Between us, we tried some tapas. Service was very, very slow. But we stayed longer than necessary without anyone bugging us to up and go.
The tapas are so so. I’m told the coffee is really good here — and I smelled the pleasant aroma of my fav brew from the next table — but I favored the cerveza de la bodega. Swell! Just what I needed this afternoon. The big bonus of course is finding Hemingway by the bar. I hugged that bronze statue like Ernest & I were longtime friends. Well, in a manner of speaking, we were. I’ve read all his books and keep reading them! Love his simple storytelling style without using big words. Clean, crisp and engaging. Yes, I’m a big fan. So forgive me when I unashamedly hugged Ernest.
When we trooped to Plaza de Toros de Pamplona, Ernest was there again. Mi hermana was growing tired of my antics by this time, thinking I’m too old and crazy for this behavior. Lol. Without losing a step, we likewise checked out the Ayuntamiento and Parque de Taconera. Plus a church (Santa Saturnina) and a chapel (San Fermin). It’s a Sunday and it’s the Feast Day of St. Joseph — a Happy Father’s Day in Spain — so there were mass services.
And before calling it a day, I thought I’d let my sister think I finally snapped while walking along Calle Estafeta where the bulls and brave, crazy men run in July. Love teasing her……
Buena Noche a todos!
(Got my sister to walk another 15,000 steps . Woo Hoo!)