If you like old photos you should visit the Photography Museum. The walls are covered with hundreds of old photos. There is little explanations by the photos, but I think it is always interesting to see old photos to see the people and the surroundings. There are mainly photos from religious festivals, funerals and other happenings which have gathered a lot of people and they are mainly from Pamplona.
The grandfather of the man living in the house is on one of the photos. He was a musician and painter. So was the father, and some of his paintings are hanging on the walls.
There is no admission.
In the corner of Carrera 5/Calle 6, just off the main plaza, is a big white building. It is Casa de Mercado, a covered market built in the 19th century. It is nice to walk around here for a while in the corridors with small shops selling clothes, shoes, fabrics and much more. Here you can also buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
Casa Colonial is a colonial mansion from the 16th century. It is from the first Spanish years and that makes it one of the oldest buildings in town.
In the rooms around two courtyards there are exhibitions of different historical objects from the area. There are pre-Colombian pottery and artefacts used by some of the Indian communities from the area, there are colonial religious art and different antiques from the 20th and 19th centuries. There was also an exhibition with paintings by a contemporary artist.
The museum is open between 8 - 12 and 14 - 17 on Mondays - Saturdays.
There was no admission.
I had arrived to Pamplona just before lunch time so after a while I went to the plaza to look for a place to eat. I passed Restaurant Piroko and it seemed to be popular (which in most cases mean good food or good value for the money). The restaurant was full, but I found a place at a table with two other women (Ludi and Stella). The food was that of a typical Colombian lunch menu. A soup and a juice and then a plate with either chicken or beef, beans, rice, platano and sallad. I forgot to say I didnt want to have beans so there was a lot of them. The portions were big.
The price for the lunch was 5500 pesos (July 2008).
Before you leave Venezuela you must pay the departure tax and get the exit stamp in your passport from the DIEX office in San Antonio (you don’t get it at the border). The office is situated on Carrera 9, between Calle 6 and 7. I arrived at the office at 6.50 in the morning and first paid the departure tax (46 BsF in July 2008) in a shop on the opposite side of the street. After getting the exit stamp I walked the five blocks down to Avenida Venezuela. A lot of people were walking over the border in both directions, but there were no one who asked for the passports. When I had crossed the bridge and had arrived in Colombia I couldn’t see the building where to get my entry stamp. I asked a police man and he pointed to a big white house, down a road I had already passed. The office is on the right side if you come from Venezuela.
Well it is easy to miss the immigration/emigration office in both countries, but make sure you really get the stamp, or it can be very expensive later.
From the immigration office I took a taxi to the bus terminal in Cúcuta. It was 10 000 pesos and took 20 minutes. In Cúcuta I found a shared taxi that was soon leaving for Pamplona. It was 13 000 pesos and with a lot of road construction along the road it took two hours to Pamplona. The family I had shared the taxi with were going to the same hotel as me so in Pamplona we shared another taxi, but it is actually walking distance to the hotel from the terminal.
I left the hotel at 6.50 and walked to the bus terminal. As I arrived to the terminal I bought a water and a coffee. While I was doing this a driver came over and asked if I was going to Bucaramanga (where I had to change) because the bus was leaving now. 7.05 the bus left the terminal in Pamplona and I thought I was very lucky and that I probably would reach San Gil not too late. Well, after 15 minutes it was a stop in the traffic (both ways) because of construction work and we were standing still for 50 minutes. Later we stopped for 30 minutes to eat. The road between Pamplona and Bucaramanga is going over the mountains and if you are sitting on the left side (leaving Pamplona) you can take photos with great views over both cities, but unfortunately I sat on the wrong side of the bus. After 4 h 45 minutes we arrived to the terminal in Bucaramanga. The ticket between Pamplona and Bucaramanga was 20 000 pesos (July 2008).
In Bucaramanga I waited almost an hour for the bus to San Gil. That ticket was 15 000 pesos and the journey took almost three hours. Once again the road is going over the mountains and there are many stunning views. There were a lot of trucks on the road and traffic was many times going very slow.
From the place where the bus stopped in San Gil a taxi to Macondo Guesthouse was 2600 pesos.