And while I was typing (literally) and was about to Publish – this just happened!
It is obviously another Basque ritual celebration, but I have no idea what this is. What a fabulous place!!
Walked out of the hotel this morning and ran straight into the AEK Korrika run. This is an approximately 2,500km relay fun run that winds its way through the Basque territories continuously for 11 days and nights every 2nd year, and raises funds for the teaching of the Basque language. Apparently under Franco’s oppression the language nearly became extinct.
Masses of runners presumably all from Pamplona for this leg of the relay – some pushing babies up narrow cobbled streets, some carrying them in backpack seats, children, young people and whole families. All smiling all the while and every 20 seconds or so chanting “KKOO..REK..KKAA!!” so that it reverberated off the stone walls.
The streets and plazas of Pamplona always seems to be alive with people (and indeed all kinds of family groups and people) at whatever time of the day and night. They seem to be celebrating their life and culture at any opportunity, and coming out in numbers to join in. I hadn’t realised the depth of the desire to maintain their Basque ethnic traditions and even strive for some form of independence or devolution from Madrid, until I returned here.
Met another Australian pilgrim, Steph, in the hotel and we sampled a couple of Pinchos places last night. I really like Pamplona. But The Pyrenees loom high and close. Talking to some English pilgrims yesterday the pass over The Pyrenees, La Route Napoleon, was only opened free of snow a few days ago.
Off by train to San Sebastián tomorrow – The Pyrenees and Camino beckon.
Some final photos from Pamplona (and couple more from Barcelona):