Hello everyone! I want to tell you about Ernest Hemingway. Surely many of you have read some of his masterpieces, such as “The sun also rises”, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” or “The Old Man and the Sea”. But did you know that Hemingway had a very special relationship with Spain? Yes, friends, this genius of letters fell in love with our country and visited it on several occasions, leaving his mark in places like Pamplona, Madrid, Burguete or San Sebastian. In this post I am going to tell you a little more about Hemingway’s life and work in Spain, and I invite you to follow his footsteps through the north of our geography. Are you in?
Hemingway came to Spain for the first time in 1923, when he was a young journalist in search of adventure and excitement. He was attracted by Spanish culture, especially bullfighting and popular festivals. That is how he came to know the Sanfermines of Pamplona, a celebration that captivated him and that he captured in his novel “The sun also rises”, published in 1926. In this work, Hemingway narrates the adventures of a group of foreign friends who travel to Pamplona to enjoy the running of the bulls, the bullfights and the festive atmosphere. The novel was a success and turned Pamplona into an international tourist destination. Today, you can follow Hemingway’s route through the city, visiting places such as the Café Iruña, the Hotel La Perla or the Plaza de Toros.
But Hemingway did not only stay in Pamplona. He also explored other areas of northern Spain, such as Navarra, La Rioja or the Basque Country. He liked to fish for trout in the Pyrenean rivers, taste the local gastronomy and stay in charming rural houses. One of his favorite places was Burguete, a village in Navarre where he stayed several times at the Hotel Burguete. There he wrote part of his novel “The sun also rises”. Another obligatory stop was San Sebastian, the elegant coastal city where Hemingway enjoyed the sea, the beach and the pintxos. It is said that he used to frequent the bar La Cepa, the restaurant Casa Nicolasa or the Hotel María Cristina.
Hemingway returned to Spain in 1936, but this time with a very different motive: to cover the Civil War as a correspondent. He settled in Madrid, at the Hotel Florida, and from there he sent his chronicles of the conflict. He also actively participated in the Republican cause, supporting the international brigadists and collaborating with filmmaker Joris Ivens in the documentary “Land of Spain”. His war experience inspired him to write another of his great novels: “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, published in 1940. In this work, Hemingway tells the story of an American soldier fighting against the fascists in the mountains of Segovia.
After the war, Hemingway returned to Spain several more times, always faithful to his passion for bullfighting and fiestas.