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How to not sleep on the ground at the Running of the Bulls

Pamplona, Spain


Pamplona was founded in 75 A.D. by Roman general Pompei. The Casco Antiguo (or ancient city) has fantastic cathedrals, ramparts and moats - everything a city would need to it could survive and become a great city. The history is rich with Basque culture and language, Navarran food, and best of all, great Spanish wine.

Of course the best reason to come to Pamplona is the San Fermin Festival held every July 7th - 14th. When I came to Pamplona to run with the bulls, I didn’t even know there was a larger fiesta called “San Fermín.” I drove my rental car over the Pyerenees, picked up a guide book at a roadside tourist office, and stood in a lonely phone booth in the middle of Navarra calling hotel after hotel for accommodations in Pamplona. The shock of finding that there were no hotel rooms in Pamplona led me to the web. The first site that came up was www.SanFermin.com, which does have an "English" button (after a lot of searching), but unfortunately, the housing listings were all in Spanish (which I only speak very poorly). This year, there's a new site called www.PamplonaHousing.com that is all in English and has good advice about what to do.

There are expert bull runners who can take you over the entire bull run route and explain how best to avoid mortal wounds. Running with the bulls in Pamplona is a dangerous activity, but well worth the risk if you pay attention to the change it brings inside you. Facing up to death on the streets of Pamplona makes every other challenge in live seem trivial when compared to the running of the bulls.

So, if you’re looking for a hotel room in Pamplona, I wish you buena suerte. Most of the Pamplona hotels were sold out by mid-March for the running of the bulls. If you have a few friends with you and you need lodging in Pamplona, you might try that site. If you just have one or two people, this gets more difficult... hotel rooms in Pamplona are best suited for groups that size, as Pamplona apartments typically can accommodate 6 to 12 people.

Coming to Pamplona to run with the bulls was one of the highlights of my life. I hope you have an equally fantastic experience during San Fermín.

permalink written by  ozadvent on April 15, 2007 from Pamplona, Spain
from the travel blog: Pamplona is my new home
tagged SanFermin, Pamplona and RunningOfTheBulls

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