Sat 19 Sep - Day 5: Exploring Pamplona

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 very cool town? Well, I mention it again then. 

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, my bed and gear to the right. 
One booklet had a suggested 5.5km stroll they called "Pamplona, fortified city". 

So around 8.30am I followed the stroll backwards as the end, the Ciudadela, the Citadel, is across the street and a just a little bit further. It is number 11 on the map below, ie I did finish at number 1.
The citadel is enormous, well kept and very fascinating. I include an aerial picture from the booklet to show its sheer size.  
Apart from the wide open expanses, the old military buildings now house artists and art exhibitions. A few pics from the ground...

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

And who is hungry now?
Adjacent to Park of La Taconera is Park Larraina. From that park you get spectacular views over greater Pamplona. 

I really enjoyed this spectacular walk that now took me along the perimeter 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. 
Small and not very busy on a Saturday at 10.30am, but beautifully renovated. 

The fish section was a bit thin compared to Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market but interesting nevertheless.
I then took a reflective break outside the market, with the view to check out Museo de Navarra when it opened at 11am. 

A bunch of students(?) were setting up some figurines. 
And this is how they looked when the "students" we're finished. I didn't know the purpose then but it became clear later. 
I entered Museo de Navarra at almost 11am sharp. 
Museo de Navarra is housed in an old fully renovated hospital building adjacent to the church. 

For a peregrino, the entrance fee was 0€ including IVA tax. 
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 a very high quality. 

However, there were a few interesting pieces of art. I liked this painting, and a few others, by Javier Ciga Ecandi. 
This one was interesting. An Australian bushman?
This collection called Genesis was effective. 
There were quite a few murals at the museum. 

The murals all looked like they had been moved to the museum and retrofitted there. 

The best part though was the Roman section. There is even what looks like a wheel in the exhibition below. 
And glass...
And rings that don't look very old at all. 
So again, what have the Romans ever done for us? (With apologies to Monty Python)

I spent an hour at the 4 storey Museo de Navarra before I continued my "fortified" walk. 

Autumn is coming to this region...
Below is where I arrived in Pamplona yesterday, Portal de Francia. 
The wall...
I finished the suggested walk back to front and moved on to check out the adjacent Plaza de Toros a bit more. Perhaps you can get inside. 
No. All shut. Although the was a bull fighting festival here last weekend. 
Yes, Ernest Hemingway featured extensively here. There is even a statue of him outside the arena. 
Pamplona Cathedral was next...
...where a wedding was in progress. Well, the tail end of it as i arrived. 
The cathedral was nice enough but I have seen a few around the world so it has to been something really special to trigger my fancy. 
Notre Dame in Montreal, Canada took cathedrals to a new level. The new standard. 

By now the time was 1.30pm and "menú del día" was on the menu (excuse the poor pun). Restaurante La Chistera on San Nicolás was the one I chose. 

I was the first lunch punter there...
...but by 2.15pm or so there were 10 more punters arriving almost all at the same time. 

I choose Seafood Paella for entre / primero, Grilled Salmon with fries for main / segundo and Tiramisu for dessert. The food was good, but I wouldn't call it great. 

Still, that would be my main meal for today after learning from yesterday's failed late food excursion. 

The paella seemed popular with other punters 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 EVERYTHING has to be assumed to be closed. A couple of beers, a nice bread and some olive mortadella became my  dinner. 

Saturday evening and Pamplona was humming as I checked it out. 

Something that vaguely looked like bootscooting was happening around the corner. 
Then a parade. However, i couldn't figure out the purpose. 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 a combination of them all. Or maybe something different all together. 

A few pics:

Then suddenly this:
And then this:
Let's finish off with a couple of quieter pictures from Plaza del Castillo. 

Apologies for the excessive number of pictures. I covered a lot of photogenic nature today. Tomorrow it will be back on the trail and likely a lot less pictures. 

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