"sanfermines" Pamplona by lostaussie
Pamplona Travel Guide: 214 reviews and 537 photos
i was quite surprised whilst planning this trip that there are very few pages on this delightfully ridiculous exercise so i thought id better try to put in as much useful or otherwise info in as possible. perhaps this is just testament to the relatively good mental health of the majority of most members who avoid this kind of activity.
to head to pamplona between 6th and 14th of july is to guarantee yourself a party that few can rival (at least in terms of alcohol consumption and the sheer stupidity of some (most) peoples actions).
the festival of sanfermines is a very long running tradition whos main feature, for the mostly foreign gathering, is the infamous "running of the bulls".
first things first- the opening ceremony which kicks off at 12noon on the 6thjuly. thousands upon thousands pour into town, each clutching their trusty bottle of bubbly (insert plural at this stage) to contribute to the thousands of corks that fill the sky as the festival is officially started.
needless to say, the partying continues for the rest of the day and often the rest of the night.
at 6am the next day, the streets are filled with the thousands who have not had the benefit of a sober moment to ponder the possible insanity of the adventure on which they are about to embark- the first day of the running. the streets are so full of people that it is extremely difficult to move, bringing a moments panic to the somewhat groggy brain when one considers that within 5 minutes the bulls will be charging through here- whether or not the people have moved.
suddenly the crush spreads out as the first barrier is removed, allowing many to sprint at top speed to the arena.
the adrenaline rush that takes over as the first cannon is fired is indescribable- possibly only overshadowed by seeing the first pack come charging towards you from about 10m away!!
a bit of advice for anyone planning on running- they release 2 packs of bulls which i didnt know, so after stopping for a photo as the bulls ran past, i was celebrating my survival as a new surge of people began charging my way. i suddenly realised why as i saw the second pack charging up. carl lewis impression no. 2 was in order and suddenly, just before the arena, the police pulled me out which is a good thing as i had no desire to get into the arena but was running so hard that i hadnt realised it was the arena.
second bit of advice for runners- if you want to get into the arena, dont have your camera in your hand as i found out that was the reason for my being ejected from the course.
next bit of advice for all- avoid the mussel bar- at least avoid jumping off it. if you want an adrenaline kick, run with the bulls. on our second day we heard that there had been one death and another who luckily survived with a broken neck. that was only day 2 but without a tv we couldnt keep up with events.
all in all, it makes octoberfest seem very timid indeed, if only for the adrenaline-charged atmosphere but people are really out partying 24/7 throughout the fest.
thankfully we were camping outside town so we only had to try to keep up with the 2-3,000 aussies and kiwis that had taken over the campsite (plus maybe 20 americans and 20 brits), rather than the many thousands who had no place to stay and just partied til the end of theyre trip.
the survivors start making their way to the nearest pub to meet up with their mates and do a head count and share their... more travel advice
lostaussie's Related Pages
Pamplona Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Surviving the Bull"
- "Run (away) with the bulls"
- "" The Camino Frances" (Part 1)"
- "Fabulous city in fabulous Navarre"
- "San Fermin Encierros on Spanish TV."
- "WHEN BULLS ARE GONE"
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- Warnings and Dangers in Pamplona
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