22nd September 2022 by emmadurnford

22nd September 2022

Our final drive to our final destination of Tolosa, chosen primarily so we could visit the famous steak restaurant - Casa Julian - which we had seen featured on two different programmes. I had been unable to book it myself on line but the woman at the hotel we are going to stay at kindly managed to make the perfect booking for us at 8.30pm on our last night in Spain. Just before we left our apartment in Tudela, I had time to write an ‘assertive’ note to the driver of the black Mercedes who had deliberately parked so that we could not park next to him. I translated it all into Spanish and I think he should now know exactly how we felt and what a bad driver he is!!

I drove this time as Colin has done a lot over the past couple of days and we planned a stop in Pamplona for lunch and because we wanted to see the city famous for its bull run. Luckily for once there was not a festival on and the bull running takes place in July. I had IDed a large car park in the centre and less than a ten minute walk from the old city. City driving is probably the most challenging of the trip and Pamplona the largest city we have visited in our car. It was relatively easy finding the car park although the entrance was one of the narrowest of anywhere (abroad or the UK) that I have entered, luckily without any damage. Once inside it was actually a very nice car park - far better than the one in Tudela.

Pamplona seemed a nice city and has a spectacular life size sculpture of the running bulls (along with the men who chase them trying to hit them with rolled up newspapers called 'Monumento al Encierro' (Bull Run monument) created by a Rafael Huerta - a sculptor from Bilbao. Although I do not agree with the subject matter, the sculpture is amazing. We wondered the town, had a great lunch of salad, calamari and peppers Padron (I got the very hot one this time) and I managed to find a post office to post me cards in on the way back to the car (in a bronze letterbox shaped like a lion.

Back to the car and the last hours drive to our hotel in Tolosa. We had instructions of where to park to drop off our luggage and then details of the car park which had been booked for us - so much nicer than the last one.

Our hotel room is lovely, large with seating area and all the little details needed for a comfortable stay. It was also nice to finally meet Andrea who has been emailing me and who made our restaurant booking.

We ate dinner in the hotel restaurant and it was very good and then took a stroll around the town afterwards in the dark although it was difficult to get an impression of it.
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