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iheminw001p1This summer, while I was doing a section of the GR-11 or Trans-Pyrenean Route, I came to a village called Auritz/Burguete in Navarra province, very near Roncesvalles. I had booked to stay the night at the Hotel Burguete, a hotel with over 100 years of history behind it.

I was surprised to find myself in a hotel dining room full of references to the major US journalist, writer and Nobel prize-winner Ernest Hemingway. My curiosity piqued, I asked the hotel owner about it, and he told me the story.

Ernest Hemingway came to Spain for the first time in 1923. There, he discovered the San Fermín festival in Pamplona, to which his fascination was to bring him back several times more. Indeed, it was Hemingway who made the festival known internationally. After the festival, he would go fishing in the Pyrenees, staying at the Hotel Burguete, where they still keep intact the room he occupied, the piano in the room he used to play in, and so forth. That was a most pleasant surprise.

Hemingway wrote several books about Spain, the best known being Fiesta (The Sun also Rises) and For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Immaculada Amat