We spent last night at a Casa Rural (Spanish B & B in the country) with our host Rosa. She was a great character. She didn’t speak a word of English, well.. she did say goodbye this morning. I think she told us she went to Ireland once, but she might have just been saying she saw it on TV? Anyway, she was delighted that we were making an effort with the language, really, she was. And that encouraged me to keep giving it a go. She talked in Spanish, I looked confused and no problem she’d repeat it and do some kind of mime. By this morning I understood when she asked where we were going next and gave a good attempt at telling her. The Casa is in the countryside about forty-five minutes from San Sebastian, where the north coast of Spain meets the west coast of France. We continued to be surprised by how very different the areas we stay in “feel”. This area “feels” peaceful and fresh and light. Probably because of the rolling hills, the big trees, all the greenery and the very many birds. And lovely Rosa.
She prepared a wonderful meal for us and we took lots of pictures of it as soon as she left!
(The first course – Ensalade (salad) with fish and olives – yum yum)
(Second course – fish in a red pepper sauce, I love fish in Spain)
Today we moved on to Pamplona, where they “run with the bulls”. I haven’t seen any though, thankfully, as I’m afraid of cows, which would make me petrified of bulls. As we’re moving on to Jaca tomorrow, today is the only day to see the city. So I headed off as soon as I had changed into something cool. Cool, as in hot day, not cool dude! The weather has changed again and now I’m sweltering in the heat – 30 degrees today.
(We stopped in San Sebastian for water and atmosphere on our way to Pamplona)
The instructions from the receptionist mentioned some lift I could take, wondered what that might be…. Didn’t have to wonder long. After a ten minute walk I could see a wall with houses on top – Pamplona, the old city, on top of it’s walls. And I wasn’t going to have to walk up some (lots of..) steps, I could get the lift!
(If you look closely, in the bottom left corner of the picture, you can see a few people queuing to get into the lifts)
There are two lifts, that go up a very steep incline through a tunnel in the walls of the city. And you come out in Pamplona’s old streets.
The streets are narrow and mainly at right angles to each other, which should make finding your way a doddle…
(More arches, this time, to keep you cool)
I got lost!
(Notice the balconies, very useful during the bull running)
But one thing about Spain, there’s lots of seats, in shady spots. So I sat down and looked at the map again. While I was there, I noticed a couple looking in my direction. She began to smile and you know that look? You know… the one where you think you recognise the person but your’e not sure? She had that look! Or so I thought. It was actually a “she’s got a map, maybe she could tell us where to go” look. And I did, in French! They were French, could speak Spanish but not English and wanted to go to the Tourist Office. So I pointed them (through the medium of French, yes!) in what I thought was the right direction. And then discreetly followed them because that’s where I was going too.
They lost me but I found it on my own anyway.
We’re off to France tomorrow, via Jaca.
Mejores deseos (Best Wishes), Mairead.