Wednesday, September 28, 2016


GR1 Sendero Historic day 20.
Zero day.
Weather: Brilliant.

A zero day in Olite. I believe my feet will benefit from not having to walk today, at least without also having to carry my backpack; I am not completely able to stay still on my zero days. So, even though I sleep longer than usual, and is in no rush to get out into the day, I cannot shake off the feeling that it is something that I have forgotten. Like putting on my backpack and keep on going.

Plaza Carlos III El Noble in Olite.

Yesterday, I washed the clothes that I walk in; today, I wash the evening clothes, it was high time that it was done. There are always some duties that needs to be done when you are exempt from walking; a zero day is a good time to do all those necessary things that you rarely do. Like checking your equipment. I have also plans to reconnect to the world again today. Since I began walking, I have not heard much about what has been happening in the outside world, the little I have heard, has been in Spanish. Just next to the hotel, I found a small internet café, small in the true sense of the word as well.

View to the west and over Olite from the tallest tower of the Palace of Kings.

Olite has obviously expanded since old times, but the old town lies still within the intact city walls, built on Roman foundations. The street scenes inside the city walls are narrow and intimate. The two main squares Plaza Carlos III El Noble and Plaza Teobaldos forms the centre for the city life. Within the walls of the old palace, there is now a Parador, but what is the star of the city is without doubt the Palace of Kings.

Turrets, towers and spires in the Palace of Kings, you can climb up into both towers.

If you ever have imagined a fairytale castle, something like from a Disney cartoon, then you will find its counterpart in reality here. A visit to the Palace of Kings is almost like how I have imagined it must be to walk around in such a castle, the only thing missing is the inventory. Here there are towers and spires, with staircases both inside and outside, which you can climb up and down in. Labyrinthine hallways and dead ends. Small and large rooms within stonewalls and dim light from holes and ornamented windows. Ivy and climbing plants folding upwards along the castle walls.

The Palace of Kings in Olite, a fairytale castle.

From the top of the towers, you can scout far away in all directions. The surrounding area is relatively flat (Navarre, you know), but in the east there are hills rising, which marks the end of the flat journey through Navarre. Barely visible within the hills, I can see the church in Ujué, which the walk heads towards tomorrow.

Tree growing in the courtyard.

For a long time, I go exploring around inside the castle. I am not alone. Two girls looks just as smitten as I am, it appears that they will return home with about 500 selfies, all from the same spot in the palace. Heads appears and disappears here and there. Twice I go into the palace, I had to pay a visit in the evening too. The shadows of the spires grew longer with the sun in the west, the colours became stronger. I lost track of time and missed the wine museum afterwards.

City walls and castle walls.

Unfortunately is the Santa Maria La Real church closed, and blocking what is supposed to be an amazing archway there is now a large scaffolding. In my opinion, it would be better if they had waited with the maintenance until I had been here. So, in Olite I feel a bit like a tourist again, something that I do not feel like while I walk, but when I sit and look at the people from one of the bars at Plaza Teobaldos, I feel that I have a different approach to it.

Street in Olite.

I have not forgotten the walk, and has made some plans for the upcoming days. In Gallipienzo Antiguo, a hotel has surfaced; the possibility to stay a night in a near abandoned village is something that I do not want to miss. Judging by the distance, it is a good way to split the walk to Sos del Rey Católico into two more even days.

View towards the hills in the east in the direction of the trail after Olite. Almost in the middle of the picture, you can barely see the church in Ujué, which is the next landmark on the way.

Dinner is a pizza with cheese, serrano ham, mushrooms and oregano. I am almost surprised how much food you can eat on a walk like this, I have no problems taking on a large pizza, and good it was as well. The zero day is finished at the same local bar and restaurant that I found yesterday. I look forward to keep on walking tomorrow, and I cannot wait to be done with the flat landscape of Navarre.

More royal palace and fairytale castle.

From a fantasy castle to a ghost town, that will be great.

Children playing outside the gate of the Santa Maria La Real church, the entrance to the church covered by a scaffolding hiding what is an amazing archway and entrance.

<- OliteGallipienzo Antiguo ->

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