There is a small hidden caffe in Pamplona that I love. It is called “El Caballo Blanco” referring to Saint James’ white horse.
It is not easy to find, but it is worth going there. Place yourself at Death Man’s corner. Look to your left and up the hill you will see the tower of our cathedral. Walk all the way up there and once you are in front of the temple, turn to the left. You will find a beautiful square full of big trees. It is Plaza de San Jose. Go all the way to the back end of the square. On your left you will see an alley that is the oldest and to me, the most beautiful street in town. It is easy to identify it because it has an arch connecting the two houses in the street. The ones on your right are privately owned . The one on your left is a convent of secluded nuns.
There is a legend from the Middle Ages about it. It says that the thirteen year old daughter of the house on the right became a nun in the convent right next to the house. As it was a secluded convent, the daughter could never step on the street ever again. The father was completely devastated and he had a great idea. “ Ok, so the rules for seclusion is to never walk in the streets again. I will construct a bridge so she will not walk on the street. She will be walking on the air and I will get to see her.”
This is a very cute story but there is another one, some people say that the father become the lover of a nun in the convent and made his daughter become a nun so he could have the excuse to constructed the bridge and then cross to visit the nun very discreetly. Now you choose which one of the two stories you like better for sure I know which one I like …. LOL.
Once you pass under the arch you will find “El Caballo Blanco” on your right. It is a civil gothic style building and in the Summer afternoons there is always somebody playing some instruments or singing. The ambiance is great there and there are not too many tourists, so you will have a real Pamplona feeling.
By the way, although the setting is magnificent it is not an expensive place.