Camino Day 5: Pamplona (Rest Day 1)

I did not get any closer to Santiago de Compostela today but I still did some walking. A rough guess would be around 10km of flaneuring in Pamplona.

Did I mention that Pamplona is a cool town? Well, I mention it again then. Pamplona is a cool town.

Daina and Fiona continued their Camino and I went out exploring the old centre of Pamplona.

Our communal bedroom is almost empty as I leave, with my bed and my gear to the right bottom bunk.

One booklet had a suggested 5.5km stroll they called “Pamplona, fortified city”. Sounds like a plan…

So around 8.30am, I started off by follow that stroll backwards.  Reason is as the end, Ciudadela, the Citadel, is across the street and a just a little bit further. The Citadel is number 11 on the map below. And I then walked the numbers backwards all the way to number 1.

The citadel is enormous, well-kept and much fascinating. I include an aerial picture from the booklet just to show its sheer size.

There were wide open expanses and the old military buildings. The latter now house artists and hold art exhibitions.

A few pics from the ground…

I then strolled to Parque La Taconera, number 9 on the map. It is a French styled park with animals down where the protective water would once have been.

And who is hungry now?

Next to Parque La Taconera is Parque Larraina. Here you get spectacular views over greater Pamplona…

…as you can see here.

A much spectacular walk that followed parts of the perimeters of the fortification.

The path diverted away from the perimeter where the Museo de Navarra is. I followed it and then stumbled onto Mercado Publico. Pamplona’s Public Market. Gotta check that out.

The Mercado Publico was small with few shoppers this Saturday at 10.30am. The renovations though were lovely.

The fish section was thin compared to Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market, our home market. It was still interesting to check out what was on offer.

I then took a reflective break outside the market, with the view to check out Museo de Navarra when it opened at 11am. Which is almost opposite the market.

A bunch of students(?) were setting up some figurines outside.

Mission accomplished. Dressed up dummies. I didn’t know for what purpose then but it became clear later in the day.

I entered Museo de Navarra at almost 11am sharp. That was the time when they opened.

Museo de Navarra is in an old renovated hospital building next to the church. For a peregrino who can show a Credential de Peregrino, the entrance fee was 0€, including IVA tax. So free for me 🙂

I was a bit disappointed with what was on offer at Museo de Navarra. There wasn’t much about the Navarra region itself, more general Spanish. The paintings were generally not of high quality. In my view.

There were a few interesting pieces of art. I liked this painting below, and a few others, by the painter Javier Ciga Ecandi.

This one was interesting enough. An Australian bushman?

The collection called Genesis was effective in its simplicity and repetitiveness.

There were quite a few murals inside the Museo de Navarra.

The murals all looked like they came from elsewhere. And moved to the museum and retrofitted there.

The best part though was the Roman section. There is even what looked like a wheel in the exhibition below.

And glass…

And rings that didn’t look very old at all.

I spent an hour walking through the 4 storey Museo de Navarra before I continued my “fortified” walk. An OK museum in my view but I have been to more interesting ones…

Autumn is coming to Pamplona…

Below is the “French” gate, Portal de Francia, where I arrived in Pamplona on the Camino yesterday.

Part of Pamplona’s fortified wall.

I finished the suggested walk at number 1 on the map and moved on to check out the adjacent Plaza de Toros. Perhaps you can get inside the arena…?

No. All shut. Although, Pamplona hosted a bull fighting festival last weekend according to the poster below.

The ghost of Ernest Hemingway is ever present in Pamplona. There is even a statue of him outside the bull fighting arena.

Pamplona Cathedral was next…

…where a wedding was in progress. Well, the tail end of that wedding as i arrived.

Pamplona Cathedral was nice enough but I have seen a few remarkable places of worship around the world. It has to been something special to trigger my fancy these days. Sorry.

Notre Dame in Montreal, Canada took cathedrals to a whole new level. For me, that cathedral set the bar high and is the new standard.

By now the time was 1.30pm and “menú del día” was on the menu (excuse the poor pun). Restaurante La Chester back on Calle San Nicolás was my chosen temple of food. I was the first lunch punter there today…

…but by 2.15pm or so there were 10 more punters arriving almost all at the same time.

My chosen dishes were Seafood Paella for entre / primero. That was followed by Grilled Salmon for main / segundo and Tiramisu for dessert / poster.

The food was good, but I wouldn’t call it great. Still, that would be my main meal for today after yesterday’s failed food excursion. The paella seemed popular with other punters as well from what I could see so that’s a good sign.

I then went back to the hostel for a shower, a bit of washing, blogging, pilgrim chatting and relaxation.

After 5pm, as the super mercado reopened after siesta, I did a restock of supplies. Tomorrow is Sunday and I assumed EVERYTHING is  closed. A couple of beers, a nice bread and some olive mortadella became my dinner.

Saturday evening and Pamplona was humming. Something that looked like boot scooting was in progress around the corner from my hostel.

Then there was a parade.

I couldn’t figure out the purpose of the parade. First it looked like a South American festival with all the national flags. Then a gay pride style festival. And then a protest / nationalistic rally. Maybe it was a combination of them all. Or maybe something different all together.

Then action arrived in the middle of Plaza del Castillo:

Followed by this:

No idea what was going on here…

Let’s finish off with a couple of less action-filled pictures from Plaza del Castillo.

My apologies for the excessive number of pictures from today. I covered a lot of photogenic nature. Tomorrow, I will be back on the Camino trail and there will likely be less pictures.

69km walked. 716km left to walk after Day 5
(no change from Day 4)

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