Sunday, October 02, 2005


After breakfast, we walked Bondi into the city, past the Plaza de Toros and up the Avenue of Carlos III towards one of the larger memorials built in the Fascist style (a mishmash of grandiose architectural elements) … (my head span with detail from Joaquin’s combined expertise in art history and landscape design)s ….finally through the old castle and a snack with coffee in the Plaza del Castillo. I tried to read some text from my Spanish Phrase Book (not used since fumbling around San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, five years earlier) which was most amusing to Joaquin.

I learned from Joaquin that “Pamplona” is derived from the name of General Pompeii, who had a settlement here about two thousand years ago. We stopped at the leaping-off fountain in the old quarter, where Bondi attracted a respectable audience.

I had a siesta – my back had been grumbling after all the driving along twisting roads in the past week – while Joaquin put together a late (for me) lunch. I tried to watch some Spanish TV which is unhealthily overdosed by bad English language TV dubbed into Spanish. I saw a little of the movie Giant (ie with Liz, Rock & Jimmy), now Gigante (with much dialog after lips had ceased moving) and some ghastly reality TV before giving up.

In the early evening Joaquin took me to his local club where the indoor swimming pool is rarely busy. Did 20 laps with unremarkable energy, and retired to the spa. Discovered in the showers that I knew at least one Spanish song: Mah-num-a-nah.

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