I spend the day walking the central part of Pamplona. All morning long, I noticed a helicopter circling the city and wondered why. Then, around noon, I noticed a very heavy police presence around some of the government buildings. Shortly afterwards, it all became clear to me. There was a massive (and very peaceful) demonstration against the current austerity measures being threatened against public workers including teachers in particular. I would guess that there were several thousand marchers in the parade, many of them with their children, including infants in strollers. The need for the police seemed to be limited to traffic control, although several of them were armed with riot control gear. They gave no expectation of having to need it, and apparently they did not.
An interesting feature of Pamplona is that there are public WiFi zones in many areas of the city, principally the parks and pedestrian malls. As I ate lunch at an outdoor cafe, I was able to browse through the news on my iPhone, thanks to this WiFi. I think that I have about walked my way through the entire city (some streets several times over), so tomorrow I will take it fairly easy until I meet up with the rest of the group in the early afternoon when we will shuttle over to Roncesvalles, where we will begin our cycling trip. I'm ready!
|Pamplona City Hall|