Saturday, September 26, 2009


Good evening all
It feels really odd to be back in Pamplona, and strange to tell, I´ve got itchy feet again! I see all these pilgrims with their new gear and I just want to hug them.
I got here last evening and am staying in a Fonda (low grade - 14€) where I stayed in 2000. It´s cheap.
Last meal in Seville was a pizza. It tasted OK but the base was bought, and the only things on top not from a can were cheese and a couple of slivers of pimiento (red pepper). I don´t think an Aussie restaurant would get away with that.
The train (Alta 200) to Madrid was full of rattles, was buffeted badly by the AVEs that passed, and our ears were affected by pressure each time we entered a tunnel. The one from Madrid to Pamplona was an Altaria and much better. I didn´t mind the day spent travelling as I needed the rest.
In Madrid, with a couple of hours to spare I went to the Prado Museum. Frankly (and please do not be offended) I would be happy to never see religious art of this Spanish type again. The poses are fake, the faces soppy, the colours pastel. (The only Crucifixion scene I have ever really responded to was by Dali, and it is not in the Prado.) El Greco painted his saints in dark tones, which is a change from the norm. There was a lot of sculpture of quality including Roman and Roman style from much later centuries. Velazquez had rooms full, there was a fine Rembrandt, but my favourites were the Brueghels (spelling?) There is such wonderful detail and the figures are meaningfully employed. In fact there was a lot of Lowlands art, not surprising in view of the imperial relationship of the times. Charles V, the HRE, was given prominence. Later it was fun to spot the relatives as they all have jutting jaws as opposed to that other European noble genetic trait - the chinless wonder.
The rail line section of the old station at Madrid has been turned into a rain forest with mist sprays. It´s very humid, of course, but very attractive. The new section is behind the old.
After Madrid the land was very dry with many previous water courses converted to the only cropped and green parts. Maize and olives predominated though nearer Madrid there were many fruit trees.
I cleaned the Carrix with water last night. Even the wheels came up very well. I will arrive at the Albergue soon after 12 and stay there with my sign - For Sale (picture from the Net) Se Vende - until I get a response. If there is no sale by tomorrow evening, I will send it back to Australia and continue the travels.
God bless you all

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