Friday, October 2, 2009

On To Pamplona

After a good night´s sleep, enjoying not having to sleep on the floor with lots of other people, I woke up rested as the sound of pilgrims packing their backpacks intensified. After having packed up my few belongings and getting them back in my backpack I headed out into the early morning light to find the Camino and hike the short distance in to Pamplona. It was only about 5 km, mainly along the road, so not too interesting until I reached the old part of Pamplona, and made sure not to loose the signs showing the way through the narrow streets. I found the Auberge Jesus y Maria right by the cathedral, and got my stamp, but they were not yet open, so I could not get rid of my backpack. However, I found a nice pastelleria and treated myself to a cafe con leche and a croissant. Then I asked around to find a place where I could get on-line to check emails and update my blog, etc. As I was sitting there busy writing, Margo came in - she was going to continue on to the next little town of Cizur Menor on the other side of Pamplona. I had no plans to continue on, as I wanted to give my poor knees a much-needed rest, so they would not give out on me completely, and I wanted to have a little time to check out Pamplona as well.
By the time I was done with my emails it was time to check in at the Auberge, which was situated right beside the Cathedral de Santa Maria, so it was pretty easy to find it again. The Auberge was nice and new, but very big, so it did not have the charm of the old Abbey.
I got my bunk assigned - bottom, and then proceeded to do the routine of shower, do laundry, hang it out to dry, and then headed out the check out Pamplona.
First I walked the short way over to the huge, beautiful cathedral and the museum attached to it - it was beautiful! So much to take in, and I am sure my photos will not do it justice!
By now I was getting hungry, so I started to look around for a place to have a late lunch. By some magic I stumbled on a little quaint restaurant only a short way from the Auberge, and the menu looked interesting - not that there was much on it I understood, but I decided this was the place. As I sat down the waiter brought me the menu, and it turned out it was a fixed menu with 3 courses, wine, water and bread included for €12.50, so I thought I might as well eat the Spanish way - big lunch, siesta and a light dinner or tapas. What an excellent meal it was! I had about 6 choices for all three courses, and only understanding few of the words, I did my best, and with the help of the waiter using sign language I ended up with a delicious lunch of Crepes with Spinach, Pork Tenderloin with a fabulous Roquefort sauce and a delicious rice dessert, + all the wine and water I wanted, so I was ready for siesta by the time I had finished! I sure hope my 3 musketeers had found this or an equally great plcae to eat, as I know a good meal was on their agenda for Pamplona!
After a long nap I wandered out to look at the city, now that it was coming alive with people. As all Spanish cities the streets were now bustling with life after the siesta, the cafes were full of Spaniards and tourists and on several of the plazas bands were playing. After wandering around for a while I just had a bocadilla for dinner in a small local bar close to the Auberge, I didn´t want to risk getting lost in the maze of narrow streets at night.

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