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An afternoon in Tudela

The boys were gathered in a circle, some yards from where I stood. Wandering over to them, I wanted to see just what was it was that they were so interested in. Standing on the upper lever where few were also seated, I saw their feet were all in the middle of the circle and the young lads were measuring them to see who had the largest feet. All of them wore white—because Tudela was having a festival.

Some years ago I had decided to see what Tudela was like but my seat on the bouncy bus was in the very rear and many hours ride in that location was out of the question. I told the driver to stop, dismounted and walked back to where I was staying.

My time in Pamplona was nearing its end, as the temperatures of 115 to 120 degree heat were still going on. I reckoned it would be much faster to grab a train south. I get 25% off on train tickets due to my age, so I more than likely saved some money as well. Arriving in Tudela, I was greeted by a surprise. It was their equivelant of the San Fermin. The patron saint of the city is named Santa Ana and a week long party in the town (population around 36,000) was under way. People wore white like they do in Pamplona and since I very rarely photograph or cover things like cathedrals and other touristy spots, I figured why not just enjoy the party for the rest of the day.
Nearly all the activity is in the old town (I like old towns) and I just wandered around, beer in hand, taking it all in. Not everyone was dressed in white like they had been in Pamplona's festival, they were either just getting on with their day as normal or couldn't be bothered to get dressed up.
The bull ring is more closer to the train station and there is also a bull run (like other places in Spain) there.

Way back in the 70's, this used to be common. Not so much now though

Festivals abound in Spain (they like their parties) and some places wlll have even more within one town or city which many outsiders know nothing of. For instance: Festival for Calle Jarauta, the Bolivian Festival of the Virgin Urkupina (the Pamplona version) all of which are worth the time to be involved in, plus you can meet people you wouldn't normally see.

I did a lot of wandering around and at one point found this old steam locomothive. These were similar to the old ones which I rode behind on a trip in 1971 to North Central Spain and a disaster in the south.

Not far from Tudela is a desert. If the temperature is 45C or over, the officials block all entry. Evidently people have died there, it gets extremely hot. I had a sort of taste of this some years ago upon returning from Estella (where it was 43 C) and a Scirocco (at 55 C) hit Pamplona. It was cooler standing in the sun away from the wind.

Some of you who read this are, like me, travel writers. We've been doing that for some years (over 11 for me). However, there was someone else (1200 years ago), 100 years before Marco Polo, who did the same thing—and wrote about it!

. . . and we think we're something—Hah!

The regions covered.
©Wikiipedia, adjusted for here.

Benjamin of Tudela

Rabbi Benjamin, took off from Tudela and traveled over a fair portion of what is now: Europe, Turkey, Israel and other parts of the Middle East for many years. He is recognized as an expert in the geography and cultures of the regions he went through at that time.

You can down the book free from here.

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I enjoyed the day in Tudela, returning to Pamplona in the evening.

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