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Barcelona to Pamplona, Spain

Pamplona, Spain Baguette vending machine!

Greatest invention ever! 24-hour baguette vending machine! Pamplona, Spain

We booked train tickets from Barcelona to Pamplona directly through renfe.com.  even though the website is a catastrophe to navigate, it was worth it because it saved us quite a bit of money over booking through RailEurope.com.

At the station in Barcelona, we saw our first pilgrim headed towards the camino.  He had the sign of a pilgrim, the scallop shell, attached to his backpack.  I said “Pilgrim?” and he walked over and talked to us, first in Italian (I think) and then in English.  He closed our brief conversation with “Buen Camino”, and I teared up a little.  I can’t believe I am going to do this and meet adventurous people like him.

On the train there were more pilgrims of all ages.  Mostly men.  They all have walking poles and I was thinking I missed a memo.  The memo that says: “Get walking polls.”  I suppose I will figure this all out in time.

The train ride was mesmerizing with green hills and crumbling buildings and vineyards…many, many vineyards.  I cried a bit more thinking of all the people that I will meet and what might happen.  I have a date with destiny and it starts in three days.  I imagine I have a date with blisters and pain too.  They better bring a corsage.

We had a long walk to our hotel but it included my first ever inclined- elevator ride which scaled the city walls.  So scary and fun.  Pamplona is a walled city, with most of it’s walls still intact.

Yesterday, the rain still fell and we went out for some Pinchos (the tapas of the Basque area of Spain).  And some wine.  It was difficult ordering because everything is in Spanish, but we managed.  Jamie mistakenly got foie gras which for most people would be a delight but he had trouble stomaching the concept.

This morning we made a visit to a Japanese garden.  Pamplona is very green with lots of parks.

Today I have been working on catching up with my writing and banking and all that.  I don’t want to worry much about mundane details of life when I am on the camino.

Tomorrow we take a bus to Saint Jean Pied-du-Port which is on the French border.  This is the traditional starting point for the Camino Frances which is our route for the Camino de Santiago.

 

 

 

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