A little room with a tiny balcony on a narrow tapas street will be our home for a few days as we live in the large controversial shadow of Ernest Hemingway, the author that made Pamplona famous/infamous. His book, which I will try and buy and read tomorrow was very successful and it has been seen as a very good first novel. I’m not too sure whether I will like the book’s theme but I will leave judgement until then.

A lazy day, we leisurely strolled the streets of Pamplona – the French would call this flâner – just taking in the sights and smells, while glancing with a little interest at people and things.

We wandered through a large and beautiful square, it’s grandeur apparent through it’s eclectic mix of mostly 19th century buildings of immense visual attraction. While the present siblings of buildings gather in their 4-7 storey heights, some thin and others quite large, the earlier generations built of solid stone seem to be there to ensure their kids survival after there own was regularly threatened.

Barely seeming to move because of the large weir slowing it’s previous rapid pace, the river Arga washes the lower banks of the northern part of the old city as it drifts under it’s 4 graceful medieval bridges. The presence of preserved sections of ancient forts lie in evidence of constant besieges of the city up until the twelfth century – it’s only the Pamplona bulls now that have to be worried.

Some wonderful bites of tapas (basque name is Pinxos) were the only real interruptions to the ‘flaner’ as our social life came down to ordering food and paying the bill.