Chapter Thirty Six - Pamplona
Trip Start Jun 18, 2013
40Trip End Aug 20, 2013
Our route takes us through Logroño, where, as is the custom, we take the wrong road. Although Spanish roads are excellent, Spanish signage within cities needs much improvement.
Our first visit is to Estella
Our next stop is Puente la Reina, a medieval town on the Route of Santiago. There are so many ancient well-preserved towns in Spain that one gets almost completely detached. (“OMG! Another medieval town!”) We will remember this place because we get soaking wet returning to the car in the parking lot. This is our only experience of heavy rain in Spain throughout our two-month odyssey.
In just fifteen minutes we arrive in Pamplona, and the rain stops. We have been really lucky with the weather throughout our visit, even though temperatures have generally been much higher than normal
Arriving in Pamplona we find a likely parking spot in the shade and venture into this lovely medieval city (OMG! Another medieval city!). This town is milling with tourists, but our task is to follow the route of the marauding male cows.
The first stop is at the corral from where the bulls are released. It’s a bit of a let-down to find that today it is a parking lot. Perhaps they could release the cars to chase us through the streets. Not much chance as we soon realize that the streets used for the run are pedestrianized, where only bulls and people are allowed.
The first part is the most dangerous as it’s a narrow alley between high walls. The bulls are fresh and fast until they reach the town hall square, where they do a left turn and then a hard right to barrel down Estafeta Street to the bullring. The actual run takes about four minutes and is held for seven days consecutively. It takes Miryam and I about two hours, with stops for photos, coffee breaks and visits to souvenir shops. We would have been trampled and gored at our relaxed pace.
The sun finally comes out as we end our visit to Pamplona, enough to take a couple of photos of the Plaza Mayor. Pamplona is by no means just a bull run! It’s another medieval city!