Monday, December 14, 2009

Which book do you recommend, in order to prepare for the SAN FERMIN fiestas?

We do recommend that you read all about the SAN FERMIN fiestas before you head to Pamplona! You will better understand the deep history and pageantry that surround the celebrations, and you will learn about so many of the traditions that encompass the sanfermines.

We highly recommend the book, PAMPLONA, Running the Bulls, Bars and Barrios en Fiesta de San Fermín, written by Ray Mouton, and available at Mr. Mouton's description of the sanfermines is the next best thing to being at the fiestas! We recommend that you read this fabulous book at least once before heading to Pamplona and at least once, upon your return. Treat yourself to a copy!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What are churros, and where do we get them?

Churros - sometimes called "Spanish doughnuts" - are a deep fried pastry that is very popular throughout Spain. This pastry is usually thin and straight or knotted in shape, and served with lots of sugar sprinkled on top, and, very often, churros are served with thick, hot chocolate. Churros are usually eaten for breakfast, but during the sanfermines in Pamplona, you will find several vendors preparing churros at the Parque de la Taconera, all day and all night long....

One of our favorite places for "chocolate" and "churros" in the old city, Pamplona, is at c/ Mañueta, # 8. This "churrería" is famous in all of Navarra as having the absolutely best recipe for making this sweet pastry! This same family has owned this business for the past 150+ years, and this "churrería" opens only during very special dates in the year.....the sanfermines, included among these special dates! This "churrería" is usually open about 6:30am, through about 10:00am, each date of the fiestas. It becomes impossible to access this street during the time of the bullruns (6:00am til about 8:15am), as the crowds make passage to c/ Mañueta almost impossible......but, this is a great destination after the encierro.....

Should we reserve BALCONY places for watching the BULLRUNS?

Many of you have been asking the question: Is it really necessary to rent balcony places in order to see the bullruns??

We can tell you from our own experiences from many years ago, that YES!! - If you plan to see the bullruns, then you must be on a balcony along the route - watching the bullrun from the elevation and safety of a balcony is really the only predictable way to witness this "Running of the Bulls" phenomenon!

The bullrun is only 825 meters in length, and it has been estimated that there are only about 800 balcony places for rent each day! There are an estimated 250,000 people in Pamplona - both residents and tourists - on any given date of the fiestas....With so few areas along the route which have barricades for watching the bullruns, you really need to rent balcony places, if you are serious about watching this world-famous event! Do NOT delay!! Send an email to right away! Balconies in Pamplona are already filling up for the sanfermines, 2010 - the sanfermines are just 7 months away!
Here is a picture of tourists who did NOT have balcony reservations with us!