Camino Diary Entry #2
#2: Welcome to Pamplona (May 2012)
Hotel Europa proved a jolly fine choice in the old part of Pamplona close by Plaza Castillo – a thriving centre of cafes and restaurants. With our travel clothes well adhered to our skin by now and once slim, boney ankles transformed into fankles, we invested in an ice cream each and returned to shower and pillows.
I’ll swear Gwyneth didn’t move all night – for 12 hours she simply did not move!
With renewed vigour we bowled in to the hotel dining room for a much anticipated breakfast. Armed with courier pack of maps, hotel vouchers and instructions we set up camp on the table in the corner. We thought it would be rude if we didn’t try everything on offer – fruit, pastries, bacon, eggs, mushrooms, yoghurt, bread, juice, coffee, and cakes. It became apparent, if somewhat belatedly – judging by the huffing and puffing of the kitchen lady (a dismal treasure clad in her beige mid-calf length housecoat, no makeup and an early morning hair-do from hell) – we had clearly eaten more than she planned for and then to add insult to injury we were the last to leave! We stepped over her mopping on the way out!
A slow start to the day hardly touches on it! We ambled out into the heat by midday with just an hour before we were due to meet up with friends of daughter Charlie, and her family. On cue, Xyuxa arrived along with her Papa Juangho – a smartly dressed, chatty architect currently on the local council in charge of all the architecture for the city of Pamplona.
Papa took us on a personal tour of the Pamplona City Hall. Built originally in the 15th Century and remains in the heart of the Old Quarter. An amazing building of detailed balconies and gracious stairs, gilt edged frames surrounding masterpieces and mirrors and an ancient carpet laid through 3 levels in one piece. A stunning piece of architecture merging the Baroque and neoclassical styles. We admired the Council chambers and stood out on the balcony between the town flags imagining we were royalty for a moment.
It was shortly after posing for a number of photos that I caught a glimpse of myself in one huge mirror. Really not a good time to realize that in my haste I had thrown my dress on back to front!