Discover Ernest Hemingway in Pamplona and Key West

Published March 19, 2012

| NewsCore

Ernest Hemingway traveled the world and left an image of himself as lasting as his works of literature, from his time as an ambulance driver in Italy during the First World War to the time he spent deep sea fishing in the Caribbean.

Following in his footsteps, imitators have gone on East African safaris or visited coffee shops in Paris. Hemingway left his footprint in many places throughout the world, but Pamplona, Spain, and Key West, Fla.,are two destinations, in particular, where his spirit lives on.

Pamplona, Spain

Ernest Hemingway was introduced to the world with his novel “The Sun Also Rises.” In this book, a group of American and British expatriates travel from their homes to Pamplona where they experience the festival of San Fermín. His novel transformed this local event into one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. Tourists drink coffee at the Cafe Iruña — just like the book's characters — and a life-size statue of Hemingway stands at a corner of the bar. 

The Running of the Bulls is one of the festival’s highlights, and it features prominently in the novel. Bulls are unleashed from their corrals to charge toward the bullring. Revelers are free to either run ahead of the bulls or to watch from a safe distance, just off the street. The event has caused numerous deaths and hundreds of injuries. Nevertheless, every year people flock to this festival to relive famous moments from Hemingway's magnum opus. In 1968, seven years after Hemingway's death, the city unveiled a statue to the acclaimed novelist just outside the bullring.

Key West, Fla.

Hemingway moved to Key West from Paris in 1928 with his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer. The couple lived at 907 Whitehead St. until they divorced. While living in this house, Hemingway finished "A Farewell to Arms," which is generally agreed to be among his greatest novels. 

In 1968, the house was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark and is now officially known as the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum. The home is noted for having gorgeous gardens, fine architecture and dozens of cats with six toes. 

While living here, Hemingway frequented Sloppy Joe's Bar, which is now listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Sloppy Joe's Bar features an annual Hemingway look-alike contest, in which men with white beards emulate Hemingway's look later in life, as exemplified on his commemorative stamp, rather than his younger years in Key West.

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