After arriving at the Madrid airport we changed money to Euros and, thanks to Jackie's sharp eyes, found the Metro to Atocha. We pushed our way through the crowded and humid subway stations filled with Spanish business execs and grandmothers, stumbled between the "8" and "6" trains and again between the "6" and "1" trains until we arrived at Atocha, with just a half hour to spare before our 11:23 departure to Pamplona. If only Seattle had a public transit system where you could get from the airport to just about anywhere for one Euro.
|Dana and Greta outside the gate at St. Jean. Note|
the albergue in the background - our lodging for the night.
Once we arrived in Pamplona we had what I'm sure we'll later call "Bart's Hemingway Moment." Perhaps it was all the Ernest Hemingway related history of this mid-sized city, or perhaps there's something in the air, but it was as much as we could do to hold Bart back from heading to the city square and getting chased by the bulls! When we reminded him that the Feast of San Fermin is July 6-14 -- nearly 6 months away -- he settled down, though with a fair amount of disappointment. We're still going to watch him carefully, though, when we walk back through Pamplona in a few days.
As we waited at the train station for our van driver, a colorful cadre of local priests arrived in a van. They were looking for a friend of theirs who was to take part in the parade for the January 29 Feast of San Tomas de Aquino. Since he'd failed to arrive on time, in a moment of unusual ecumenicity they invited your humble camino guide to participate in their procession! I barely had time to throw on a beautiful, embroidered surplice (itself an unusual delight for a Methodist), dash to the main square, walk the procession, hobnob with the archbishop, and head back to the train station to the great relief of our group since the van was loaded and everyone was there except the tour guide. Oh, the busy life of a cleric.
|A quick procession in Pamplona for St. Thomas Aquinas|
before heading to the van for St. Jean.