Charming village of Burguete that Hemingway visited in 1920s
Charming village of Burguete that Hemingway visited in 1920s: Below village in June Photography: Katarzyna Kostrzewska

Burguete is a fantastic place for an early breakfast – in high season. In June have your breakfast in Roncesvalles or Espinal.

Morning rush hour in Navarra, Camino de Santiago
Morning rush hour in June, Burguete Photography: Katarzyna Kostrzewska

Burguete is a very old village dating back to the 12th century. The most famous (temporary) citizen was Ernest Hemingway who wrote “The Sun Also Rises” in Navarre in the 1920s. While writing, apparently, he gorged on trout with ham, a local speciality.IMG_7564




Day two starts nice and easy, hills are gentle, hillocks are rolling, and I have to admit I expected everything to stay like that. You will probably have a similar feeling. And that’s how it is up to the town of Erro. I rember so vividly when I cycled it for the first time and I saw a disturbing hill and with a feeling of apprehension I looked at the map and yes – it is marked as a beauty spot.

The beauty spot (also below). Photography: Katarzyna Kostrzewska

I never hated a beauty spot as much in my life as on that day. Good news is that the ascent is short, well quite short.The beauty spot…Van serving a coffee is a highlight.IMG_0079 No, no chance to view the scenery because of the high trees. I know – that’s why I love it.

N-135 sharply bends down the hill to Zubiri Photography: Katarzyna Kostrzewska

Zubiri. A small, modern town with a lovely Romanesque bridge (12th century) crossing the river Arga that we all remeber so well from movie “The Way”.

Pilgrims crossing the river Arga in Zubiri, June Photography: Katarzyna Kostrzewska

Larrasoana a Basque town with a long tradition of taking care of pilgrims. Augustinians looked after those who set off for Santiago from the 11th century.

And my favourite part of the day a cycle path which leads to the centre of Pamplona.

Cycling by the river Arga; Photography: Katarzyna Kostrzewska

It is green, hedged with colourful bushes and meanders along the River Arga bank. And it is flat! The route is absolutely fabulous!!!

Pamplona, the city of bull running! I love Pamplona. The city is the capital of Navarre, formerly The Kingdom of Navarre. The oldest part of the town is truly picturesque with its narrow and steep cobbled streets. Catedral de Santa María la Real de Pamplona was built in the 14th century in a Gothic style that might not be so obvious at the first glance since its medieval structure is hidden behind the 18th-century neoclassical façade.

5. Streets of Pamplona, Navarra
Pamplona Photography: Katarzyna Kostrzewska

Aside from this the church represents pure French Gothic and has one of the finest 14th-century cloisters in Spain.

Cloister, Catedral de Santa María la Real de Pamplona Photograpy: Katarzyna Kostrzewska

Sumptuously decorated the cloister is truly breath-taking and well worth a visit. Inside the church, there are alabaster sepulchres of Carlos III King of Navarre and his wife. The 15th-century ruler campaigned for peace between his kingdom and the neighbours. He loved fine arts and finished the construction of the cathedral. The cathedral reveals its hidden beauty in the evening, so you might want to pay it a short visit before evening mass. Lighting transforms its rather plain Gothic interior beyond recognition.

Sepulchres of Carlos III King of Navarre and his wife, Catedral de Santa María la Real de Pamplona Photograpy: Katarzyna Kostrzewska

The difference is so significant that if you saw the cathedral in the daylight and later on in the evening it is hard to believe that you are in the same building. Today we remember Immaculate Heart of Blessed Virgin Mary, It is a good day to pay a visit to the Cathedral consecrated to Her.

June rain, Pamplona Photography: Katarzyna Kostrzewska

It is raining…Of course it is raining. It is June, it is Navarra. So what about buying jamon and awarded cheese from Viendas de Salamanca?

Awarded cheese from Duero Valley. Jamon was not bad either Photography: Katarzyna Kostrzewska

And perhaps a bottle of Ribera del Duero? Anyway that’s what I did.image-1

I shared my bottle of Ribera del Duero with fellow bicigrino in Puente la Reina. Mostly because he gazed at me imploringly. Cheese and charcuterie I ate by myself.

Cizur Menor (53.40 km from Roncesvalles) is the last stop today. The most distinctive building in this town is a Romanesque church dedicated to Saint Michael Archangel, originally part of a monastery.

Romanesque Church dedicated to Saint Michael Archangel, Cizur Menor. Yes, it is still raining. Photography: Katarzyna Kostrzewska

The empty church is taken care of by The Order of Malta, who proudly flies their flag at the top of the building clearly seen from a distance. The Knights used to cure pilgrims on their way to Santiago and today continue the tradition of taking care of pilgrims by running an albergue. They always keep some food for pilgrims and you can be sure that everything you leave behind will be given to others. True spirit of the Camino.

On the way to Puente la Reina, June Photography: Katarzyna Kostrzewska