Pamplona, known for Hemingway, running of the bulls, and pintxos. Pintxos are just small snacks, typical in the Basque and Navarrean regions, very similar to tapas. We rented a little apartment right off of the street where the San Fermin Festival (running of the bulls) takes place. Although the festival takes place in July, there are still signs of the bulls and the festival all over the city.
This is the Plaza de Toros, which is the ending point of the running of the bulls.
Before the festival, the square metal covers in the cobblestone below are removed and replaced with the wooden sections that make up the fence. You can see a part of the fence right in front of the red entrance to the bull ring, and in the picture below.
This is where they keep the bulls. The start of the run is right across the river, so they walk the bulls across the bridge that you can see in the corner of this picture, then start the race!
After breakfast today, we drove to La Monasterio Sagrada Familia de Oteiza where one of Pat’s relatives is a nun! The monastery sits on top of a hill about 20 minutes outside of Pamplona.
There are currently 15 nuns living in the monastery, and only one speaks a little english. We had such a great time trying to converse with them and touring the grounds. They were so excited that we came to visit, and had no problems showing it. They would get real close, grab our faces or our hands, and just talk a million miles a minute. We of course had no idea what they were saying, other than a word here or there, but we got along alright! How cute are they?!
When we got back to Pamplona, it was around lunchtime, so we stopped in to a restaurant for el menú del día. You pay anywhere between 10-15 euros a person, and you each receive bottomless drinks, bread, a starter, a main dish, and a dessert. I ordered seafood paella as my starter dish, squid as my main dish, and flan as my dessert. Steal of a deal!
We spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the sunshine and exploring the streets of Pamplona!
We have had such a good time in this region, and I really wish we had more time to explore, but it’s off to Barcelona next!