Scouting Pamplona, Spain: Day 10’s Exploration of Pamplona
On the final full day of our Hemingway-esque journey across Southern Europe, we explore even further the city that the author lovingly returned to again and again. Our team set out to visit Pamplona’s best – from restaurant’s pushing the boundaries of Spanish cuisine to the historic places where Hemingway left his mark.
During the Founder’s Grand Cruise, the Hotel Castillo de Gorraiz is your home base in Pamplona. A luxurious retreat with all the exciting festivities of San Fermin just 10 minutes away, the hotel is close to the action while still maintaining its tranquility. You’ll have easy access to and from the hotel during your stay, so you can jump into the midst of San Fermin whenever you’re ready.
Consuming Culinary Innovation at Abaco Restaurant
Once we’d visited Hemingway’s famous stops, we continued our day with a meal that rivaled the author’s own spirit of adventure. We made our way through the cobblestone streets of Old Town Pamplona to a row of restaurants, bars, and venues that faced the Plaza de Toros, the famous bullfighting ring. We found Abaco Restaurant in the midst of the row of shops, an unassuming spot tucked away behind a small gate and courtyard. Our team was shown to the back room where Chef Jesús Íñigo, the proprietor of the restaurant, kept his Michelin Bib Gourmand and Repsole Guide Sole awards.
Once we were seated, we were shown the tasting menu at Abaco: 11 courses of creative, traditionally-inspired dishes from Chef Jesús himself. Paired with delicious wines like the Herederos de Marqués de Riscal Rioja, a 2016 Reserva from the first winery in the Rioja region to produce wines in the traditional Bordeaux fashion, each course was a mouthwatering new experience that seemed to harken back to our entire Founder’s Grand Cruise journey. While most dishes were loving tributes to Spanish cuisine, like the Eel Snack with Citronella and Dashi, others borrowed from Spain’s northern neighbors, France. Examples include a delicious Foie Gras with Pear and Vanilla and a post-dessert Petit-Fours.
The meal was something we’ll each remember for a long time to come – a celebration of our time in Bordeaux and Pamplona, the wonderful people we’d met along the way, and the adventurous spirit of Hemingway and the Founder’s Grand Cruise. We’d go on from here to explore evening Pamplona as its streets filled with life, becoming the living rooms of its good people.
A Passion for San Fermin at the Caravinagre Bar
A Retrospective of Day 10’s Excursions
The last day of our Founder’s Grand Cruise before we headed separate ways, Day 10 was an eventful day that bookended our Hemingway journey. From Bordeaux to Pamplona, we had followed in the author’s footsteps: along the tranquil Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage Route he'd fished along and by the Chateau Margaux, for which Hemingway’s pervasive fondness of has trickled into his books and through his family, so that even his granddaughter was named Margaux. In Pamplona, we’d visited the same places he’d frequented, like the Plaza de Toros – with its monument to the author out front – and the Hotel La Perla and Café Iruña.
Day 10 was the perfect cap to our trip, giving us the opportunity to see many more Pamplona destinations as we prepared to leave. With our quiet morning at the Hotel Castillo de Gorraiz, we were given the chance to reflect on our expedition as we relaxed in one of the luxurious lounges. In addition, we had the opportunity to eat one of the most adventurous meal’s we’d ever had at Chef Jesús Íñigo’s Abaco Restaurant. A resounding success, we would be sad that the journey was over, but excited to share it with our loved ones as we traveled home the next day.