Running of the Bulls!
So I did today what I was suppose to do on my birthday, see crazy people running around and sometimes under bulls. I caught the bus at 1:00am and man was I tired. Luckily I had a few hours until I had to change buses in Soria, Spain. Long and uneventful story short, five and a half hours later, around 6:30am, I arrive at the bus terminal in Pamplona! There are SOOOO many people dressed up in the festival attire of white shirt/pant with a red neckerchief and belt thingy all over the buss station. All these people either going to run with the bulls that day or are leaving having ran with then yesterday. They were every where. Anyways, I arrive in Pamplona only knowing what the route the runners and bulls will be taking looking like on a map so I begin my search for a map. I stop in a small souvenir store and ask for map, one is brought out and I am then shown where I am at the moment and where the Bull Ring is. Which is good cause the route ends at the bull ring. I then buy said map and then start to head up some stairs to the exit. Now, instead of asking for a taxi or trying to figure out which cardinal direction I'm facing I decide to reverse engineer a network of people back to a secondary source, the area of interest. I begin to 'swim' against the little crowds of people walking to the bus station hoping they will lead me to some where on the bull run route. Next thing I know I stumble upon a giant fence which itself is covered with people. Well I found the route now to find a good place to see the people and bulls when they pass by. Every inch of every fence was plastered with people sitting on top, crouching looking through it. The fences were three horizontal beams about 2 feet apart and one vertical beam about every oh 8 feet apart. Well it's now about 7:20am and I find myself accepting the fact that I'm not going to get a spot on top of the route anywhere and will have to try and make due with peering through the fence like oh so many unworthy on viewers. I'm sitting behind this old couple who are sitting on the fence and then eventually the woman looks down and points to a little behind her and off to the side right on one of the vertical beams and says I can try and stand on the second horizontal beam right behind her cause she will be standing when the bulls come so there should be enough room for me to squeeze in during the important part which only lasts about 5 minutes. I examine the area and figure I could climb that just before the bulls get into sight. Well 10 min pass and this girl standing next to me asks the people on the fence if she could try and get up and sit on top of the vertical beam since no one was actually on it. She knew I was gonna be jumping up behind everyone so i figured she'd brace herself when I appear. So she finally gets into place and all is good. Okay so, time passes and it's now 8:00 sharp, after seeing a few runners already run by, the first rocket goes off signifying the first few bulls were set free to run. Right then I jump up and squeeze in between now the girl and the older lady, oh the older couple were Australian by the way lol. Well at this point I'm practically holding myself up so to release some strain on my arms I lean over the top beam at which point the girl sorta leans on my back trying to take her photos while on top of me. She was cute, I was comfortable and able to get my pictures, everyone was happy so I didn't complain. first bull I see and tried to take a picture of came out blurry. I then tried to take video but it was during a moment where there were no bulls... All in all I figured there would be more bulls then there actually were BUT it was still awesome. After all the bulls were ran into the bull ring, running a whopping 6-ish minutes the gates and fences were packed up and taken away. Everyone ran around drinking, hitting up the now open bars and restaurants and attending the free show in the bull ring. At this show a lot of the runners were in the middle of the ring and one bull was let out to run around and smash people against the wall as they tried to tease and taunt it. I was rooting for the bulls. Well it's now like 9:00am and I don't leave back to Madrid till 2:15pm... I walk around the town taking pictures watching parades and people dressed up as characters riding horses and what looked to be giant chess pieces (I really didn't read up on the origins of this festival) and watched as they chased children around and hit them with a stick and foam. I kid you not these characters were beating children right there on the street. It was the funniest thing I've seen all week. I got something to eat, tried to exchange my bus ticket for an earlier time but 2:15pmas the next bus so I sat at the bus station for like 3 hours. Nothing happened during this time and come 2:15pm I was on a bus back to Madrid. One quick stop to change buses in Soria and I was back in Madrid by 8:00pm.
Well time for bed!
on July 13, 2011
from the travel blog:
2011 - Happy Birthday from España
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It's pretty sweet!
written by Electronicproducts on July 18, 2011
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