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Camino de Santiago No. 6: Art Overload in Pamplona

I made it into Pamplona without too much difficulty-the walk was pretty easy thru urban areas.

Once in Pamplona, I spent the next several hours at the Cathedral de Santa Maria, an absolutely beautiful place, full of art and treasures. One could spend several days there, there is so much to look at and take in.

I managed to get there in time for Mass, which was done in Latin and Spanish, and really quite beautiful. As I listened to the singing, I imagined what the experience must have been like for pilgrims long ago, walking into Pamplona, the first large city on their route to Santiago. The church must have inspired them to keep going, as it does to pilgrims today.

The church has alot of art of course, but it also has a museum that allows one to see the kitchen with enormous oven-apparently, pilgrims used to come here for food, so monks had to bake bread all day long. The whole place must have been black with soot!

After I left the church, I ran into(by happy accident) the Australian man I had met at the start, and we headed off to the Museo de Narvarra, which I had heard had some of the best preserved Roman mosaics ever seen.

The mosaics were breathtaking-enormous, and very well preserved, all made of small chips of stone. They were often simple geometric patterns, but repeated on a large scale, making them truly awe inspiring.

My mind was whirling with mosaics when we got to the Gothic mural paintings. Wow.  I have no words(you will have to come yourself!).

I eventually wandered off again by myself, and ended up walking around a good portion of the city, visiting the cuidadela, a huge fort that is on one end of the city before deciding the ankle needed a rest and finding a room for a few nights.

I found a lovely room witha balcony, overlooking a park. On the bottom floor of the hotel was a little shop, the sort that has fruits and bread and cheese..and wine. I wandered in and bought some food for the next few days…

It´s a different experience shopping in one of these little shops. You don´t actually ever touch anything. There are all these piles of fruit and so on, but you just have to ask them to get it for you. I kept trying to get some fruit that was ripe, ready to eat that day, which apparently doesn´t exist here-people eat fruit when it´s not as soft here.

This turned out to be to my benefit, as the woman wrapped up some apricots for me that she had decided were for eating that same day, and once in my room, I ate all of them, as they were so delicately flavored, so aromatic, that I could not help myself!

I then spread out my dinner of cheese and bread and wine on the table of my balcony, and had a wonderful dinner all alone, watching all the families and couples in the park, my mind reeling from all the art I had seen that day.

I will be spending one more day here, before taking a bus to Burgos, which is the first starting point for the mesita (flat plains) part of the Camino. I´m choosing this part because it is flat, with little downhill parts(and therefore easy on the ankle!). I´m also choosing it because it´s a part of the Camino many choose to miss if they are short on time, since it is very hot and has long distances without much else than flat plains. But, that sounds very beautiful to me.



3 responses to “Camino de Santiago No. 6: Art Overload in Pamplona”

  1. Looks like an amazing trip (even if it was for work). WTG on all the great running. Loved the photos!

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