Pamplona has a long history and a lot of it ties to being a military camp of one sort or another – it’s name comes from the Roman general Pompey who fortified it during one of the Roman civil wars.
The impressive fortifications that surround Pamplona date from much later, having been built in the 1500s just in time to become fairly redundant. Now they form a pleasing walk around the old city with views out over more modern Pamplona to the surrounding countryside. There’s a fairly intact star-shaped fort that makes a pleasant place to sit with a coffee for an hour.
In the afternoon we visited Pamplona’s bull ring. It was a fascinating tour of the ring and the behind-the-scenes process of running the bulls and bullfighting. While I am happy to have seen the ring, it did absolutely nothing to make me happier about the whole sport and the way the bulls are treated. I particularly find the false equivalency of the ‘brave’ bull being in a fair fight to be, well, much like the way the bullfighter waves his cape around to distract from what is really going on. You just need to see the pictures of the blood-soaked, tormented and exhausted bull being finally killed to question every part of this as a sport.
This evening we bar surfed and had pinxos while playing ‘tourist or local’ while watching the passing people.
Anyway this is our final day in Pamplona. Tomorrow we walk again. Jennifer’s blisters have not healed (by the way, a lovely Spanish pharmacist talked her out of popping for the moment, but was a pop-advocate if the blisters are not improved in a couple more days). We have washed clothes, had a home-cooked meal, and generally feel ready to go on.