Blogs from Pamplona, Navarre, Spain, Europe

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Europe » Spain » Navarre » Pamplona September 22nd 2018

Last night ended with a recital by a French women’s choir after we had finished our meal. They sang traditional songs, and the harmonies from the 15 or so members was very moving. French people at the meal joined in and added to the emotion that we felt. I automatically thought of someone who would have loved it; sorry Sue, you had to be there. Today we walked through rocky crevices, light filled valleys and oak lined tracks to arrive at Cizor Minor. I walked mainly with John from Colorado and Karema from Brazil. John and I share common views on many things so he was great to walk and talk with. Karema is a delightful young woman with a backpack as heavy as mine, and the shoulder and calf injuries to prove it. She claims ... read more
The oldest church bell in Navarre, 13th Century
The view from St Stephen’s bell tower
Welcome to Pamplona

Europe » Spain » Navarre » Pamplona September 2nd 2017

Dinner last night was okay. I had spaghetti with tomato sauce and cheese, with a decent salad, water, and an ice cream bar for dessert for 11 euros. I was afraid I would have trouble sleeping again, but soon after 10pm I hit rack and only got up once around 2am to use the restroom, then slept until 6am. We were packed up and on our way soon after 6:30am. We had decided to wait until Larrasoana to eat breakfast. As we were leaving an older lady from Denmark asked if she could join us and so now we are 3. We had decided last night to try for Cizur Menor instead of the typical stop in Pamplona. When we reached Larrasoana, we stopped for breakfast, but almost gave up when we found no place open, ... read more
The Private Hostel Where We Ate Breakfast
A Neat Waterfall Outside of Villaba
The Entrance to Villaba

Europe » Spain » Navarre » Pamplona August 29th 2017

After a decent night's sleep at Antonio's house, I ate lunch then took a long walk down to and along the beach while Antonio took a nap. Soon after I returned we drove over to Tito Raphael and Tita Regla's for a visit. Around 9pm, we returned to the house for dinner. I had trouble getting to sleep again, I guess due to nervous tension and apprehension. After all, tomorrow I start my trip to Saint-jean Pied du Port and my Camino. Finally, around 4am I fell asleep. Other than Antonio, I was the first one up, around 8am. I showered, had some breakfast, packed my backpack and Manuel and I were on our way to Jerez for me to catch the first of three trains that would get me to Pamplona. The first train ... read more
Getting close to Pamplona
View out of my window
My train compartment.

Europe » Spain » Navarre » Pamplona May 10th 2017

We got up at 6 am had breakfast with the other pilgrims at 6.30 packed and on the bikes by 7.30. We made good progress up the mountain through beautiful forested areas on a very quiet road. Then the rain started; by 8.30 we were soaked. It was still warm until after 4 hours of uphill climbing from 200m we reached the top 1300m then a cool breeze chilled us. We visited the spectacular monastery at Roncesvalles , them began the descent. Two more hills, then an amazing descent through 20 or more switchbacks. We met loads of fellow pilgrims, met a Spanish cyclist who guided us into Pamplona and found our b&b by 3pm. We explored Pamplona this evening visiting the citadel and the cathedral, tried local wine and Pintxos bought food for breakfast, now ... read more

Europe » Spain » Navarre » Pamplona September 22nd 2016

Started the day off well and walked 4 kms before stopping at Zuriáin for breakfast. We started early and didn't see many other pilgrims ( travellers/walkers) until we approached Pamplona. On the way we visited the church of Saint Stephen, yes there's more than one of us, and climbed the bell tower to give them a ring. These bells are the oldest in Navarre and it was an honour to be allowed. A kind nun encouraged us to do it and the chimes would have been heard throughout the hills. I did a quick SIM card purchase at an Orange outlet, had an Iberian jamon bocadillo for lunch, visited the Cathedral, and set off to Cizur Menor. My feet are hurting for a few reasons but swelling is the main one. The walk from Pamplona was ... read more
Breakfast at Zuriáin
San Esteban's Church
The bell tower at S. Esteban's

Europe » Spain » Navarre » Pamplona September 13th 2016

7 September 2016 Wednesday. Weather: Blazing hot in the high 90´s Distance from Pamplona to Cizur Menor: 7.1 km or 4.4 miles I caught the 7:30 AM train from Barcelona Sants, arriving in Pamplona at 11:17 AM. Here I would begin my pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago. When planning my pilgrimage, I debated whether to spend the night in Pamplona or start my walk right away. In the end I decided to walk the 7 kilometers to Cizur Menor where I had reservations at the highly rated Albergue (hostel) de Maribel Roncal...they care for perigrinos (pilgrims) blistered feet...not that I would need help having just started the walking part of my Camino. And besides I was anxious to get started! I figured the walk to Cizur Menor would take two hours, which would leave me ... read more
Cathedral Santa Maria in Pamplona
Cathedral Santa Maria in Pamplona
Cathedral Santa Maria in Pamplona

Europe » Spain » Navarre » Pamplona July 9th 2016

Today was a very long day. On the bus at 5:50am to head into the city to get to our balcony to watch the start of the festivities at 8am. As we reach the city centre all we could see were steams of very wary tired and happy people leaving the city after yesterday’s celebrations and a well-oiled clean-up machine in full flight preparing the city for another onslaught of revellers today. The balcony we have booked is on the second floor at one of the bends mid-way through the course and we had to be there before 6.45am otherwise the streets are closed off. In a way just watching the people arriving at their balcony and the clean-up process on the street below of both rubbish and people was as exciting as the run. 8am ... read more
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Europe » Spain » Navarre » Pamplona July 8th 2016

After a night of lighting, thunder and rain we wake to a clear morning and we are on the road to Pamplona and the festival of San Fermin. The drive today was great due to the lack of trucks for about 50km, they had their own road next to ours. We also drove through an area where on every ridge there was a wind farm, there was probably more Wind turbines than the whole of Australia & NZ together. We have spent the afternoon walking the streets of the old town centre taking in the atmosphere of a festival and get our bearings so we are ready for the big day tomorrow. Today’s great finds where the monument to the Bull Run which is a 11-metre-long bronze monument that shows 11 runners, 6 bulls and 3 ... read more
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Europe » Spain » Navarre » Pamplona May 23rd 2016

Tomorrow morning I will hop on a bus and head for Los Arcos staying in the Albergue Austria and then head out on the 26th. It has been raining very hard here so that's complicated matters .I was going to walk west from Pamplona to Puente La Reina over the Alto de Perdon however the official word is that it's mudd and slippery slopes up and down the mountain, not necessarily a good thing for a recovering knee. So I will start where I originally had planned to start, Los Arcos ,and where I had stopped last time I was here. This year the Camino is very crowded. It is a religious year ,so I suppose that's part of the issue but also the popularity of the Camino has grown and that has attracted more and ... read more
Tapas & Pintas at the IRUN BAR Pamplona
Tapas & Pintas at the IRUN BAR Pamplona
There are many unfortunate people in Pamplona

Europe » Spain » Navarre » Pamplona May 21st 2016

The problem is where to start! There are so many cool things happening here. it's hard to figure out at what point to start describing what I have been experiencing. I suppose the most interesting part is the variety of people .. Thousands come out and walk the streets between 8 o'clock and 10 o'clock.mostly young men and woman but also couples , families and the elderly. The restaurants aren't open until 8 o'clock though :( . The Plaza de Castillo has many cafes that are outside with tables under umbrellas which is crowded by 5 o'clock with people drinking talking , people watching other people and having a good time. I suppose the cafes are there as a warm up until the resturants open ? If so very clever . My hostal is one street ... read more
My street one block off the plaza
I had the Duck Rissotto
Hemingway & I at the Irun bar (2014)




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