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One Adventure After Another!

Monday, November 16, 2015

To Pamplona


In 2006, passing trough Trinidad de Arre on the way to Pamplona

we were met with some interesting graffiti

We spent a wonderful day in the Cathedral Museum in Pamplona.

I will post those photos in a later blogpost.

Spring Group
Meeting our Group in Pamplona

Some years, we start our Camino in Pamplona.

Other years in SJPP.
In 2012, we met our groups in Pamplona.
After a day of rest and getting to know each other,
we taxied them to SJPP to begin walking.

The morning after arriving, Catherine, Theresa and I had coffee and pastries at a shop right around the corner from our wonderful Pension Sarasate. We have stayed in this Pension several years, but the last two years, the old building has been torn down, and construction begun on a new building. I'll be so happy when it's back up and running.

I can't say enough about the owner of Sarasate, Jose! What a great guy! The pension has been run by his family for over 20 years. He has had it for 3 years. He absolutely understands the meaning of customer service and has been very patient with me while booking rooms for my 15 walkers. The rooms are lovely, quaint, clean and comfie. We are very happy also with the central location.

I've purchased the Menu del Dia from the bar behind my pension. This mid day meal is large with two courses plus dessert and drink. I had a HUGE mixed salad first course, then this Lomo Roquefort which I think was pork loin with a Roquefort sauce.
All for 11 euros!

The mid day meal is a few euros less than the evening meal and a better value but you must order it before 2 pm!

Now half our group has arrived. We await the arrival of the other walkers and tomorrow's trip to St Jean Pied de Port.


Next morning, our van picked us up early to take us to St. Jean Pied de Port.
Everyone was so excited!

The trip is a bit like 
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride,
so if you tend to get carsick,
be sure to come prepared with 
whatever medicine works for you.

Our Van
* * *

Walking Back Through
The walk from Zubiri to Pamplona was a pretty one.
There was plenty of shade about half way, 
and then the sun got hot.

After a while, 
we came through the tiny hamlets of Akerreta and of Zuriain.
Here, we turn left and join the N-15. 
Many people then follow the Camino,
crossing the River Arga and down through the hamlet of Irotz.

Joe and I choose to walk the road on this stretch,
cutting off some kilometers.
We met the rest of the pilgrims
at the Park,
where there are toilets and picnic tables.

We stopped at the park for lunch 

and a bathroom break,
then continued on.
While there, several of our group passed us.

Coming over the bridge into Zuriain
Another beautiful Spanish door.
View of Irotz from the road.
Leaving the park and climbing the side of Monte Nerval.

View of the valley from the trail.

The wild roses were in bloom 
and were very fragrant.
I always tell people you don't need boots
on the Camino.
Looks like someone figured it out themselves!

Follow the yellow flechas!

What's in there?

The bridge at Trinidad de Arre.

The Gigantes were in town in Trinidad de Arre.

Joe stops for a lunch break
We made over 25 kilometers in about 5.5 hours. 
The terrain was flat 
and the clouds kept back the heat 
until the last hour.

We were surprised not to find anyplace for coffee until Trinidad de Arre 
where we also found bread.
We got to Trinidad de Arre about siesta time.
 The streets were quiet 
but we found our favorite pastry shop, St Jorge, 
and stopped to rest
and have a cup of coffee and a pastry.

Soon after, 
I caught a bus to take me the last 4 k into Pamplona.

I'm sick as can be! 
I guess I caught a head cold.
A shower and bed are on my agenda tonight.

Pamplona seems to be having a festival today?
I'm glad we have an inside room !
This girl has a festival hairdo!
Joe and Jose are laughing because Joe lost his socks and Jose had a "fishing pole"
Apparently he's had this problem before!
Tomorrow we walk with our group to Puenta la Reina.
I'll report back when I can.


Autumn Group
We met in Pamplona for the Autumn Walk

This morning Patty Moak, from Portland,  
and I went to the pilgrim shop 
where she bought trekking poles for the Camino. 
Now she is ready to walk.  
Here, by the way, 
is the sign outside Pension Sarasate, 
for those of you staying here on later walks.

The fiesta was still going on. 
We found this owl among other raptors 
being shown in the square.

This group of mummers were great!
Hey, a Mummer DRUMMER!
 More Mummers.

The rest of our walkers arrived safely today and everybody is anxious to start walking!

Two gals have some sort of head cold 
and have spent the last 2 days resting. 
Hopefully by tomorrow they will be fine.
 It's always a challenge to make these long flights
 without being exposed to somebody's cold. 
Luckily, you do not need a prescription in Spain 
for cold meds.
Ask Annie about the best cold medicine in Spain.

The taxi will pick us up around 11 a.m.
 to deliver us to St. Jean Pied de Port. 
That should work out fine for Judive and Clare, 
who still need to get their telephones set up.

It's been a remarkable weekend in Pamplona! 
We are looking forward to more festivals 
along The Way. 

I bought this box of Don Simon and  
some people in the group
enjoyed a glass before bed. 
It's common  to find this boxed wine 
for 1,50 euros or less - 
a good value for thirsty pilgrims.
I'm no wine expert, 
as you can tell!

This weekend is the 
Mercado Medieval de los Tres Burgos. 
This is a celebration of three communities 
who used to be at war with each other...
coming peacefully together.

There was a parade to the Cathedral this morning 
and it was attended by everyone in town. 
We were joined by Los Gigantes 
representing all of Europe. 

There was one representing the Americas, 
the Moors, 
and others 
 After the parade was a Catholic Mass. 

 Following are some photos. 
We finished off the morning by shopping 
in the nearby Pilgrim shop.

Pamplona has a nice pilgrim store around the corner
from the Maria y Jesus Albergue.
 It has just about everything 
a pilgrim could want or need.

Jeffrey took this photo of Joe and I 
while I was buying a gauze shirt 
to protect me from the sun.

Joe loves maps and fans. 
He was tempted by a 3D plastic map of the Camino 
until I reminded him he would have to carry it.

Next was a visit to the Diocesan Museum. 
Price was 3 euros for pilgrims.
(Be sure to carry your Credential with you)
It was worth seeing!

There was an exhibition of Madonnas
taken from churches in the area
in order to keep them safe.

Here are some of the Madonnas on display:

The spiral staircase was awesome!

Looking out at the beautiful blue sky!

Lovely cloister.

After the visit to the Cathedral Museum,
We were ready for a couple of donar kabobs!
This is one of my favorite Camino fast foods.

We returned to the pension,
where we found Father Jeffrey resting in the study.
Father Edmunds is an Anglican Catholic Priest.
 He is one of our walkers this Fall. 
He's having a wonderful time in Pamplona 
and I may have to hog-tie him to get him to leave!
Nice shirt, Father!
Very appropriate!

I really loved this little pension,
Pension Sarasate.
It's right across the street from a park,
and in a great central place for shopping and sightseeing.
It's also close to the Camino Trail.
Here is a (poor) photo of my room.
See those nice doors?
That is a balcony.
I always requested this room so I can open it up and have fresh air.
I hope the new Pension Sarasate has balconies.

Spring Group

In 2014, we again began our group walk 
by meeting up in Pamplona.  
Yesterday I walked over to Albergue Jose y Maria
and guess who was standing at the desk??
Patty Moak (2012 pilgrim) 
and Sharon Sheffield from home!!
Patty has returned to the Camino 
to finish up the stages
she missed in 2012.

We walked to VodFone to get their telephone issues sorted out, then on to the bar for food and drink!

How exciting to meet up with friends 
from so far away!

Buen Camino, Peregrinas!

We shuttled our group to SJPP the next morning.
You can read about the 2014 group's first 3 days
in the blogs on SJPP, Roncesvalles, and Zubiri.

When it came time to walk to Pamplona,
we had a little meeting.
It was raining cats and dogs.
The rain was so heavy, 
six of us took a taxi to Pamplona to tourist about, 
and 4 walkers braved the elements. 

The weather says sunshine tomorrow 
so we are counting on it. 

I just met Nick at the counter. 
I caught this photo of him phoning home. 

Haven't seen any of the others yet. 

Rest and laundry for me today.
After two weeks of beautiful sunny weather, 
we got rain today. 
We both had laundry to do so thank the gods 
for bathrooms with heat lamps and fans!

Later, the others arrived
and we met at a bar around the corner
from our hotel

Barbara, Gary, Joe, and I 
had wonderful tapas for dinner !

2015 - Autumn

In Autumn of 2015,
Joe led a group of 5 lovely Peregrinas
from Pamplona to Santiago.

Photos from that walk are on a different blog post.

More About Pamplona

 I thought you might enjoy a short history 
and a list of things to see.
I’ve garnered all of this information from the internet.

History of Pamplona in a Nutshell

1 B.C. -  
A general named Pompeyo created the city of Pompeyo, a political and religious center for the Roman empire.

714 A.D. -   
The Moors tried to take control of the city without success.  Carlomagno occupied the city and destroyed part of the city.

6th and 7th centuries - 
The Visigothics tried to take the city, but failed

9th century - 
The city became Christian once again.

1164 -
The kingdom of Pamplona created by the Jimena dynasty.

1423 - 
The kingdom taken over by the French Capetos Dynasty, la Casa d'Evreux, with king Carlos III and Leonor de Castilla at the head unifying and consolidating the kingdom. The cathedral was built during this period.

15th century -
The kingdom of Navarra conquered by the kingdom of Castilla and Aragon. 

16th, 17th and 18th centuries  - 
The monarchs and bishops fortified the city 
against further French attempts to conquer it.

1828 - 
The Navarran court was created.

1905 - 
Part of the city wall taken down in order to expand the city southwards, creating green areas as part of the expansion. 

From 1964 
Industrial development converted Pamplona into a more active and enterprising city.

Things to see in Pamplona

 The City Walls
Built in 1512 in order to defend the city from the French, following the annexation of the city by the kingdon of Castilla and Aragon. Three quarters of the wall still remain.The part that is missing was pulled down in 1905 to allow the city to expand southwards.The city wall became a national monument in 1937. Today it is well preserved and surrounded by gardens which you can stroll around. 

A fortress built in 1571 by the architect Verbon under the orders of Felipe II. Three out of the five forts remain. There are a number of interesting things to see within the Ciudadela such as where the arms were made and kept as well as cultural exhibitions.

Pamplona's Citadel ceased to be a military post in 1964.In 1971 the Ciudadela's five-pointed perfection was marred by the removal of the two bastions designed to defend against the city, perhaps because the threat of Pamplonan residents rising against Spain to reclaim the glory of Navarre had passed.

New buildings and a major road were built on the newly opened ground. City officials queried residents as to what role they thoughtthe demilitarized fort should fulfill in 1971, and the answer was "green with restored historic buildings zone." Today the Ciudadela is a lovely gardened area where cultural events are regularly held. 

The Pamplona Planetarium, opened in 1993, has the largest dome in the world, with a diameter of 20 metres. It has become an educational, tourist, scientific and cultural reference point, and receives more than 100,000 visitors a year.

The projection room, Tornamira, named after the XVI-century, astronomer from Tudela, is the most spectacular part of the building. Its dome can seat audiences of up to 220.

The Planetarium also has two exhibition rooms, in which some of the city’s most important exhibitions are held. A large stained-glass window by Alberto Chueca with motifs from the zodiac is one of the highlights of the first floor. 

Horario de apertura:
  • martes a viernes: 9:30 a 13:30 y 16:00 a 19:30
  • sábado: 10:30 a 13:30 y 17:00 a 20:00
  • lunes, domingos y festivos: cerrado

Horario (Schedule) de (of) apertura (operation)

 Various SQUARES:
    Plaza del Castillo
    This is the main square in the city. Located between the old and modern parts of Pamplona, Plaza del Castillo is surrounded by arches and 17th and 18th century buildings. Originally built as a bullring in 1847, this plaza is the heart of Pamplona. The narrow streets of the towns old quarter extend outwards from three sides of the square.

    Plaza de Toros
    Pamplona’s present bullring, the Plaza de Toros, 
    is situated just to the east and south of the square. 
    Just off the east side of the square is Calle Estafeta, 
    the narrow street where the bulls runs during the fiesta. 
    During the rest of the year, this street, with all of its bars and tapas cafes, attracts university students and other visitors,making it a lively hangout year-round.

    Plaza de Rodezno(Avenida Carlos III)
    Built in the middle of the last century 
    in a Baroque style.

    Plaza de los Fueros de Navarra
    Designed by Rafael Moneo and 
    Estanislao de la Quadra Salcedo in 1970.

    That tiny speck waving 
    at the top of Puente de la Magdalena is me
    • Puente de la Magdalena: This forms part of the Camino de Santiago.
    • Puente de San Pedro: Roman, remodelled in the middle ages.
    • Puente Rochapea/Curtidores: Pedestrians/vehicles can use.
    • Puente de Santa Engracia: Gothic - joins Rochapea and Curtidores neighborhoods.
    • Puente de Miluce: Roman - rebuilt in the 19th century.

    The Cathedral of Santa María is the city’s most emblematic monuments and the one which has the greatest number of historical and artistic treasures.

    Iglesia de San Nicolás, the church-fortress of San Nicolás (XII century) was the main religious building in the burgh of San Nicolás. Its main purpose was to defend the burgh from its neighbours and, to this end, it was equipped with thick walls, wrought-iron railings and three watchtowers, of which only one, restored in 1924, remains. 

    Iglesia de San Cernin o San Saturnino was built in the 13th century by the kings of Navarra. (in that period they were French hence the French names). 
    This was also a fortified church. It has an interesting Baroque chapel dedicated to the Virgen del Camino (13th century)

    Iglesia de San Lorenzo (Calle Mayor, 74).  Built in 1901, by Florencio Ansoleaga, upon the remains of a Baroque church, this building is Neoclassic in style. Inside you can visit the San Fermín chapel,which is very important during the fiestas in Pamplona which carry the same name.


    Museo de Navarra: (Cuesta de Sto. Domingo, s/n) A wonderful art and history museum. 

    Capilla Museo: A religious art museum (Renaissance and Baroque) 

    Municipal Archive and the former San Juan Seminary: (c/ Mercado, 11).

    Museo Pablo Sarasate: Tells the story of Pamplona's musical history since 1983.

    Museo Diocesano: 14th century. It holds sacred objects such as sculptures, pictures and gold and silver objects from Navarra.


    The Town Hall: This emblematic Baroque building dates back to 1752, built by José Zay and Lorda. The San Fermines fiestas begin here with the famous 'chupinazo' (loud firework) which is set off here.

    Palacio de Navarra or Diputación (government buildings): Neoclassic dating back to the middle of the 19th century. Built by José de Naguria. It is now the headquarters for the Navarran government. It also has a painting of Fernando VII by Goya.

    Cámara de Comptos: 

    This is a 13th century medieval palace which between 1525 and 1836 was used as an auditor's office for the Navarran kingdom. It houses a collection of Navarran coins covering all periods.

    Palacio de los Navarros Tafalla: (c/ Zapatería, 50). Baroque, 18th century. During the 20th century it was used as the Law Courts. Now it is used by the Navarran parliament.

    Palacio Real and Archivo General de Navarra: (c/ Dos de Mayo).It dates back to 1190. During the middle ages it was used as a residence by kings and bishops(Carlos II, Felipe III, José Bonaparte). 


    Polyphemus. José Ramón Anda 1993
    Park of Antoniutti

    Cypress woman. Alfredo Sada 1990
    Vuelta del Castillo

    The Mari Blanca. Luis San Martín 1790
    Park of La Taconera

    Kings of Navarre
    Paseo Sarasate

    Monument to the Fueros. Manuel Martínez de Ubago, 1903. Paseo Sarasate

    Carlos III, next to the Plaza del Castillo
    Bronze sculpture of the King of Navarre, 

    Monument to Ernest Hemingway. Luis Sanguino, 1968. Beside the Bullring

    Monument to the Bull Run. Rafael Huerta, 1994
    Calle Roncesvalles, near to the Bullring

    Sancho III the Great. Alberto Orella, 2004
    Park of la Media Luna


    Gardens of La Tocanera. The Park of La Taconera, created in around 1830, is the city’s oldest and most beautiful park. You can enter La Taconera from different points and at any time because it is not a enclosed park and is open night and day. The most elegant entrance is the Gateway of San Nicolás, in Calle del Bosquecillo. A Baroque gateway based on an Arc de Triomphe, it used to be one of the six entrances to the walled city and was located, until 1915, near to the Church of San Ignacio. Only its façade remains. The remains of the old Gateway of La Taconera, demolished at the same time, are next to the track in the Park of Antoniutti. Hidden in amongst the trees, visitors to La Taconera can discover the figure of the Mari Blanca. The figure was designed by Luis Paret to crown a fountain in the Plaza del Castillo. It dates from the end of the XVIII century and is one of the city’s most popular images. One side of the gardens is taken up by moats, which house a small zoo enclosure with deer, ducks, rabbits and peacocks. The railings which open out onto Calle Navas de Tolosa are a favourite among the city"s children. The most important monument on the central pathway in the gardens of La Taconera is of Julián Gayarre, erected in 1950 by Fructuoso Orduna and Víctor Eusa in honour of the famous tenor from the Valley of Roncal. The figure of Gayarre crowns a cylinder sculpted with bas-relieves around a fountain. 


    Feb 3: San Blas. 3rd of February: 
    The image of the saint is venerated in the Church of San Nicolás, where the faithful flock to have food blessed. On the day of the festival, the porches around the church are full of stalls 
    selling pastries and sweets which have been blessed. 

    Feb 4 · Santa Águeda. On this day, young people pass through the streets of the city singing popular songs in Basque about the life of Santa Águeda, while marking the rhythm with their sticks (makilas) on the ground.

    July 6 - San Fermin: The Running of the Bulls. See this link from the Council of Pamplona for all the information on the San Fermin Festival.

    Holy Week

    Easter Thursday: The Vow of the Five Wounds is commemorated on Easter Thursday. The original act took place in 1599 with the city devastated by the plague. In the face of the impotence of the population, it was decided that the symbol of the five wounds of Christ and the crown of thorns should be paraded through the streets of the city. Following the procession, the plague vanished.

    In commemoration of this, the Council attends the Church of San Agustínin full ceremonial attire to celebrate the Solemn Act of the retaking of the Vow and the effigy memorializing the event, the Five wounds and the Crown of thorns, is carried in procession.

    Good Friday: The most representative act of Holy Week in Pamplona is the Procession of the Holy Burial. The image of Our Lady of La Soledad, better known as “La Dolorosa”, is carried from the Cathedral to the Church of San Agustín.

    Saturday: The Return of la Dolorosa, from the Church of San Agustín to the Church of San Lorenzo takes place in the early hours of Saturday morning.

    San Miguel de Aralar. Monday following Easter Monday. The image of Saint Michael Archangel arrives in the city on the Monday following Easter Monday. A crowd of locals and the "angelico de la Misericordia” await it in the Park of Antoniutti. When the image arrives, the group sets off for the Church of San Nicolás, where it is venerated. The angel visits several churches and official centres until the following Sunday, when the faithful bid it farewell.

    Sept 8: The Privilege of the Union is celebrated on the 8th of September. The Privilege was the treaty, signed by King Carlos III in 1423, by which the city, until then divided into three parts, was united under a single Council, each burgh losing its walls, mayors and particular income systems. A Solemn Mass with floral offering and prayer in the memory of King Carlos III the Noble and Queen Leonor of Trastámara is held in Pamplona Cathedral, where their remains lie at rest, to commemorate the union of the three burghs.

    Sept 25. The festival to commemorate the martyrdom of San Fermin. Different festive acts take place in Navarrería, near to the Cathedral, from Thursday to Sunday, the previous week. The fiestas get under way with the launching of a rocket by the "alcalde Txiki" (Little Mayor), a local child, and there is a whole range of activities over the next few days, including a procession and "Pobre de Mí" (Act marking the end of the fiesta).

    Nov 39 - Bank holiday in honour of the city’s patron saint, Saint Saturnine, who baptised Pamplona’s first Christians, including its first Bishop, San Fermin, The day is celebrated with several institutional events, including a procession and a mass in the church bearing the saint"s name, attended by the Council, together with “giants”, a music band and a gala procession.


    Olentzero. The parade accompanying the Olentzero is on the afternoon of the 24th of December. This figure represents a charcoal-burner who, as tradition has it, comes down from the mountains on Christmas Eve to walk through the towns and villages, leaving presents for the children. This mythical figure is accompanied by children in traditional Basque costume, choirs, pipe-players, a living Nativity, different floats and “zanpantzares”.

    The roots of this pagan personage, purposefully veneered by Christian fathers, are explored in a most excellent blog at this link:

    New Year’s Eve. 

    The night of New Year’s Eve has become a carnival-like night of fancy dress and masks. The party is not officially organised, but rather a popular initiative which has taken firm root.

    The Three Wise Men. 

    The Parade of the Three Wise Men from the East is Pamplona’s most popular Christmas event. Children and grown-ups line the streets of the city to see the royal carriages and the Three Kings, Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar. The parade begins at the Casa de la Misericordia Old People’s Home and passes through the streets of the city to the Bullring.

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