Monday 15 August 2011

Summer holidays {part 5}

Already 3 weeks 'on the road' and still not bored of the holidays, we drove from Marbella through the beautiful landscape of Andalusia via Madrid to Pamplona to stay a couple of days and get a chance to take part in the festivities of San Fermin (click for an explanation).
We were in the city at 7am already as the bull run starts at 8 am. But you could see that a lot of people had been there the whole night, partying & drinking. The atmosphere was still very friendly and everybody was looking forward to the race!
But you really need to be alert... the race starts at 8 and before you'll notice it's over... in less than 5 minutes they ran from the starting point to the bull ring... In the blink of an eye ;)
Some impressions:
  Time for hot chocolate (thick melted chocolate) and churros,
 apparently the traditional drink after the race!
 In front of the bull ring, were the bulls just had entered!

Pamplona seems an interesting city with quite some history, however, with the San Fermin going on that week, it was difficult to visit something else than a San fermin festivity.
Luckily our hotel had a golf course so we decided to play a round of golf!
 After some days in the Navarra region, it was time to continue to the next (and last) stop. The first rainy morning of the holiday we drove through the Pyrenees (where we had the coldest temperature of the whole holiday) to Pau.
We had chosen to stay here because of the Tour de France. They were on their way to the Pyrenees.
When we arrived in the hotel, the owner asked us if we had a favorite team. Of course, Thom said, we're Dutch so Rabobank is our favorite one. The hotel owner smiled and told Thom that he was a lucky guy... it appeared that both Rababank and HTC were staying in 'our' hotel. What a coincidence!
But before it'll be all about cycling, first some pictures of beautiful Pau:
The following day we decided to go to the 'Col de Tourmalet' where the runners would have to climb to the top.
 Of course it was pretty busy so we parked our car somewhere and walked up as far as we could & would, somewhere close to Sainte Marie de Campan.
 After hours of waiting, the publicity caravan past by:
An hour later followed by the runners in several groups:
 It was a great experience and we loved every bit of it (last year we watched them arrive in Paris at the Avenue des Champs Elysées, but in the mountains is a whole different story!
Back in the hotel we had to wait for the runners coming back. Thom was excited to collect autographs!
The start of the next etape was the next morning in Pau, just opposite our hotel... it couldn't be more convenient!!
After the runners left Pau, we left too...
And made our way back to Versailles!
It has been a lovely, long holiday, full of different cities, places, nature & activities.

So now we're getting prepared for another activity: moving!
More on that in my next post!
Wishing you all a happy week!


Home and Lifestyle said...

Wat een mooie omgeving Chantal en wat leuk dat je een deel van de Tour de France meegekregen hebt en er zelfs renners in jullie hotel zaten! Lijkt me heel speciaal!

Succes met de voorbereidingen van de verhuizing, dat zal een hele omschakeling worden lijkt me!

Lieve groet, Ingrid

Mariette's Back to Basics said...

Dearest Chantal,

You're in for quite some action and variety the last couple of months! But, we've done it too and you will manage. Never a dull moment in our lives because we dare to take decisions and MOVE on; literally.
This was a fun part of the journey. Not that I like the bull run of Pamploma but the atmosphere must be super. The Tour de France part was for your Thom the icing on the cake; including autographs. Lots of great memories you've gathered.
Love to you,



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