This is the second post in a series where we are exploring several famous cities in Northern Spain. In this post, we will explore the historical city of Pamplona.
Traveling North West from Barcelona by train, we arrived in Pamplona, an ancient city in the Pyrenees foothills. Pamplona is the capital of the Navarre province and home to one of the best-known festivals in Europe, the Running of the Bulls which is part of the multi-day San Fermin festival in July. Since the 13th century, daredevil runners have been leading bulls through the city streets on this annual event.
Ernest Hemingway first came to the festival in 1923. The bulls and blood of the bull run inspired his first novel ‘The Sun Also Rises’, published three years later. He is memorialized with statues and squares named for after him.
We decided to hike the Running of the Bulls Route through Old Town without the bulls. . . less blood that way. We visited in September so the streets were nearly empty of tourists. It is fun to follow the actual route of the bulls and the runners through the narrow streets and ancient squares. One of the most interesting streets is La Estafeta where the bulls begin running downhill. La Estafeta is home to themed artwork, shops, and tapas bars. We certainly enjoyed our stay in Pamplona.