Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Pamplona (Spain)

Pamplona (Spain) Camino de santiago
Camino in the province of Navarre

05.06.2008 - 05.06.2008 17 °C
View Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela (Spain) on IsleHopper's travel map.

So after spending the whole day in Barcelona, we returned to Sants railway station. It had been raining the whole evening and when we arrived at the station it was pouring down. During the day we had visited the Church of Apostal St.Jacobi (Apostal Santiago) and received our Credentials as pilgrims. To be a pilgrim and have access to albergues where you can spend the night, you have to be patronized by a church, at each Etapa (Stop) where you will stay the night, you will have your Credencial booklet stamped, which will allow access to the next albergue. These resting places "Albergues" are either run by local churches, muncipalities or privately and you can stay there only if you have the Credentials of a pilgrim. You can stay there only one night, charges vary between four to seven euros per person. Privately run places charge between seven to ten euros. Most places have facilities to wash your clothes and at some places you can even cook your food. These places, we found without exception, were clean with running hot water in the showers and clean toilets.

our train to Pamplona left Barcelona at eleven O'clock in the night and we reached our destination at five O'clock in the morning. We had booked our train tickets on the internet and could find only sitting accomodation. However, to our amazement, the whole train was empty, as was our compartment. So we took off our boots and stretched out on the seats. We could see through the window, the rain falling in sheets and it rained the whole night and the next morning when we reached Pamplona.

In the next carriage, there were only three african men travelling, one of them was wearing trousers and a shirt, and a metal crown on his head. I found this so funny that I asked him if I could their photo, but he declined. I have met many africans, known some of them personally. In Spain, in England and France, in Morocco and even in Germany and Holland I have seen them in their traditional dress. However, I had never seen one wearing trousers and shirt and a crown on his head, in a train in Spain, in the dead of the night.

Since we arrived so early in the morning, there was no chance of going to an albergue as they do not open before 11-12 O'clock, so we took a taxi (4 euro) and the taxi driver dropped us in the centre of the city at a hostal (45 euro for double bed). We switched on the TV and were dismayed to hear the news that during the night, it had rained heavely in Barcelona and in parts of France from where we had planned to start our walk. So we decided to start the next day from Pamplona and went to bed.

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