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Pamplona (Iruna)

Trip Details

Road Trip 2006 II
Date: Wed, 23/08/2006
Motorcyclists: Manolis, Ploumisti
Photographers: Manolis, Ploumisti
Authors: Manolis
Translators: Ragas
Photographs: Link

Sightseeing map

23 August 2006: I have missed to wake up every morning without stress. In my sleep I hear the discussions of passengers and the bells of St. Nicolas that ring for a long of time. The narrow alley that the hotel is found strengthens the noise. I decide to raise myself since the hour approaches 11am. With the day light, I have the change to see better the room that we stay. Possibly it is the worse from the ones that we stayed up to now: small with only the essential things, does not give you the sense of cleanness and with two iron beds as the ones you see in old hospitals.

When Ploumisti wakes up we go for a coffee. We walk in the alley St. Nicolas with direction the central square Plaza del Castillo, where we drunk our coffee yesterday evening. The street seems different, with the shops open and full in people. We seat in a jocular coffee, small but with beautiful colours and a likeable householder. Coffee and some tapas make our morning breakfast.

While the hour approaches 1.30pm we begin to find a kiosk with tourist information in order to learn some things about the city’s sights and to buy a map. By asking we reach in the town hall opposite from which there is a kiosk. We learn that most of the sights are found gathered in the region of the old city. Opposite the tourist centre there is the church St Santurnino, a church with double role in later times: apart from religious role, it had also defensive role, something that you can immediately, observe.

We begin following the way that the bulls follow at the period of Sanfermines. The city is known from the Fiesta San Fermin that happens each year between 7th and 14th of July, at which bulls are left in specific streets so that to reach in the arena, where the afternoon of the same day will take part in the bullfights. What makes the difference is the custom, at which specific mad or brave - depending from which side you see it - they are move at the same time among the bulls. There are not few the incidents of wounds - even lethal - that have happened occasionally.

The town hall is found roughly in the middle of the route and we walk in the opposite way, from the movement of bulls. Later on, as we move parallel to the walls we reach in an old palace belonging to a monarch, in which - today completely refurnished - we find placed one big wooden model of the city. Little below, there is the old gate of the city, the “Portal de Francia” and some metres further down there is an opening on the walls, from where you can enjoy a splendid and panoramic view. We decide to make a stop to drink something in a nice cafeteria that is found there. The building that accommodates it, it has medieval architecture and the place thus is shaped in a way that brings you in other times. After a long of time I drink again sangria which I tried it for first time in this travel. Ploumisti prefers to try a local wine that did not impress her in the end...

The stop that we made gave us strength to continue our walk and visit the Cathedral that is found further down. Having seeing so many Cathedrals up to now this one do not impress me, despite the fact that the locals consider this one the city’s best sight! I am curious to continue the way of Bulls and to see which the dangerous points that the tourist guide reports are. We again come out in the point that is found the town hall and from there we follow the route, having as driver the red signs that inform us for each point and the particularities of this route.

In the shops that exist next to the route we see photographs from events of previous years, with the bulls and the people to make a clew. In some of them is portrayed still by still the wound of an "insane"! After 300m and after we cover the street Estafeta we reach in the arena, the final destination of the route. We take some photographs and afterwards we stop in a bar-restaurant to try some tapas that have attracted our interesting little before.

Next destination is the older cafe of the city that represents the most characteristic building of the city, so that the visitor sees its architectural design. It is found in the square Plaza del Castillo. The building is impressive. It has narrow Windows and an arena which remind me to a large extent houses as those of Holland, with the difference that the first have balconies and arena. The same architecture we find it also in the alleys, and also at the hotel in which we stay.

The Cafe was impressive not so much for its exterior decoration, as long as for its internal decoration. In the dew and its beautiful environment, we discuss for the travel since in the back of our head we realise that we reach in its end. The opinions disagree but also agree. The conclusions are many.

For last sight we decide to visit the Citadel, the old fortress of the city that impressed us for its architecture since it has the form of a five star. It constitutes characteristic of Spanish architecture, as we read in the informative booklet. For our good chance is located near, hardly only a square below the hotel. I throw a glance in the motorcycles and directed ourselves to there. In the street we find a wine-vault and Ploumisti buys a local wine - for Greece - and sangria in order to drink it in the boat.

Reaching in the castle we enter from a gate that leads to its centre. Today it has been modified to a park, green with some trees, while there are also 3-4 buildings acting as galleries and exhibitions. In the one of them there is also a laboratory of figurative arts. The booklet that was given to us has in its cover one panoramic photograph of the fortress. Actually, however, it is much smaller concerning that it is portrayed. Nevertheless it is very beautiful and it deserves the time to be visited, even as a place to relax.

It is chilly and forces to return in the hotel in order to wear something and relax, while later we are thinking of going out for a walk and a drink. We say to move in the San Nicolas alley that most of the bars are located. After we throw some glances, as we pass from in front of them, we lead once again in the "Cafe Rock", in the one we had seated in the morning. It appears cool and probably it represents also the place that most locals come for their drink. Is full in people but in the bar we found some space. As we directed ourselves to the bar, my glance falls in a company. The one guy appears known to me... is the guy with the portable computer that was seating next to us this morning. "Again here these..." he might think, since I understand that he realized who we are. The shop serves tapas and despite the fact that we have eaten many things since this morning we did not resist in the temptation to eat again along with our beers since they do not have sangria! The hour approaches 11pm. and the bartender has began to gather the shop, he has switch of the music and it lowers the shades... So early?

The person with the computer and his friends, they are raised to leave first. I throw a glance to him and he also looks at me as he comes to pay. Immediately afterwards, it is directed to our part and then we have a surprise, since - in pinking Greek –says to us: "Are you still here?" I ask him if he is Greek and he says no, while afterwards I say to him that we are in a trip and two things about it. He seemed to understand and in an uneasy situation he greets us and he leaves, before we had the time to discuss more!!! He was embarrassed; we were bewildered for this awkward situation; and he left without even introduce our selves...

With Ploumisti we think that possibly we have the occasion to meet him tomorrow, since he might be to the bar again. We leave also and move to the hotel, but we want to drink one more drink. Next to the street we hear music and an Irish pub is still open. We ask the lady who work there - while we are the unique customers - if we can drink something and she replied positively. We seat hearing Spanish music, discussing between us and exchanging some words with the lady. In a while more customers come in and while the shop was about to close; now it has more people from before!

At 1am we return in our "many star" hotel!!