Pamplona - much more than running with the bulls

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September 9th 2012
Published: September 18th 2012
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So, we've made it to Pamplona and for the first few days we have been living in the old town. It's been quite an introduction! Sadly, the flat isn't really what we want so our old town adventure is to be short-lived. Even so, it's given us a terrific insight into life in Pamplona.

The city is mostly famous for Ernest Hemmingway and his stories of the "running with the bulls". It's quite a prominent feature but there is a lot more to this city and we feel we are going to be very happy here.

Our explorations have taken us around some of the city's old walls and fortifications. We even found an art display inside the old arms store. There we saw a collection of works by some comic artists. it was very good and some of it was even in English.

We were fortunate enough to stumble across a parade of Gigantes, giant statues that are paraded through the streets for religious festivals. We didn't know anything about it so imagine our surprise when we turned a corner and found ourselves in the middle of it. One guy dressed as a horse rider hit Russ on the head with some sort of pom-pom. Is that allowed? Is it assault??!!

The weekend has been dominated by a medieval festival. It was rather odd seeing knights strolling around the streets in their chainmail. It's been very noisy too with bands and street parties all over the place. One night a band played at full volume outside our flat until 3.30am. Not our best night's sleep and definite clarification that the old town is not where we want to live.

We've loved the tapas bars though. It's quite customary for punters to visit 4 or 5 of them in an evening stopping for a small plate of food and a glass of wine or beer in each. Some are very quiet whilst others are packed to the rafters. The price builds up after a while though so we'll have to be careful in the future!!

There's a massive square in the centre of Pamplona's old town. There we saw a huge crowd gather to see an orchestra perform in the evening. It's where Hemmingway's favourite hang-out was too, the Cafe Iruña, and it looks like a cool place for lunch or a few drinks.

It has certainly not been a gentle introduction to Pamplona but we are really looking forward to discovering more.

Oh, and by the way, work is looking pretty good too, so we are more than satisfied with our decision to come here. Anyone coming to visit??????

Additional photos below
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Well, pintxos to be precise!

He hit me with his pom pom!!

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