Thursday, June 28, 2018

WHAT is the SIGNIFICANCE of the FOUR ROCKETS that go off, EACH MORNING of the BULLRUNS?

There are four rockets that you will hear, and the safety of the people running with the bulls depends on the correct and prompt firing of these rockets.


The first rocket is lit at 8:00am, sharp, signaling that the gates have been opened at the corral on Calle de Santo Domingo where the bulls just spent their last night. The second rocket signifies that all the bulls have left the corral and are now loose on the streets. The third rocket is fired to tell the runners that all the bulls have arrived to the bullring. The fourth and final rocket is lit when all the bulls are inside the bullring's corral.
The bulls are released each morning of the bullruns – July 7th, through, and including, the 14th – at 8:00am, sharp


Saturday, June 23, 2018

HOW CAN WE PREPARE OURSELVES for RUNNING with the BULLS in PAMPLONA?

Many of you have asked us for suggestions as to how to run with the wild bulls in Pamplona...



If you do plan to run with a pack of six, wild, angry, and frightened bulls, we suggest that you do yourself, and those who love you, a real favor:
Read and study the very important information about "Running with the Bulls" at this great website: http://www.partyearth.com/cities/pamplona.

We never encourage anyone to participate in this very dangerous tradition; however, if you still plan to run, plan to at least be an "informed" runner!

Viva San Fermín, 2018!



Thursday, June 21, 2018

What about PARKING during the sanfermines??

Many of you have been asking about where to park a vehicle during the very crowded dates of the sanfermines -



If you plan to bring a car to Pamplona, please know that all streets in the old city are blocked to traffic, during the fiesta dates of July 5th, through and including, the 14th.  
You may get lucky and find a spot at the underground parking at the Plaza del Castillo, or at the underground parking area at the Plaza del San Francisco. However, don't count on it, especially if you are planning to arrive on July 5th, when tens of thousands of other tourists also plan to arrive and plan to park their cars, too. 
Parking is sometimes available at the airport; along the perimeter of the Parque de la Taconera (see photos above); and in the residential area called "Rochapea", across the Río Arga from the old city, and about a 20 minute walk to the fiesta.  Here is the link for where the Rochapea area is located:  http://maps.google.com/maps?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLJ_enUS311US311&q=rochapea+pamplona+spai

Please be aware that leaving a car for several days, or even overnight, may be risky.


Friday, June 8, 2018

Which BUS do we take from the PAMPLONA train station to the OLD CITY??

Many of you have been asking a very common question:  From the train station, which public bus is best for transport to the old city, Pamplona?  The only bus from the RENFE train station in Pamplona, to the old city, where the sanfermines take place, is the Bus # 9.....You will see the bus-stop just outside the main entrance/exit of the train station....and, you can expect a short 10-15 minute bus trip into the old city, depending on San Fermín traffic!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

What about CAMERAS at the CHUPINAXCO ceremonies on July 6th??!!




If you insist on bringing a camera into this madness of the CHUPINAXCO, we suggest that you wrap your camera completely in a waterproof bag. Or, we suggest that you bring a waterproof camera, due to the huge amounts of champagne, wine, mustard, mayonnaise, eggs, or other colorful condiments and refreshments that participants throw upon each other!  

We suggest that you do NOT bring your favorite, expensive digital camera into these crowds - your camera will either be ruined with the above mentioned champagne, wines, etc...or, the professional pickpockets may very well add your camera to their collections of San Fermín contraband! See pictures here,, whic show the density of the crowds that gather for the chupinaxco.

Watch this video for more information:  http://www.sanfermin.com/index.php/en/la-fiesta/txupinazo
More info on what to expect at the CHUPINAXCO will follow in another post.






Friday, April 27, 2018

BEWARE! TRAGEDY in the BULLRING - July 7, 2006


Many of you have written that you are NOT convinced
that "so many" serious injuries happen along the
bullrun, or in the Plaza de Toros (bullring) in Pamplona. 
 
Here is the account of one young man, whose 
story may well convince you that running with
bulls, or even "just" running away from the "vaquillas"
in the bullring, can be a life-altering experience,
with permanent, life-damaging consequences:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

NUDE protests in Pamplona - July 5th!

Many of you have written to us, asking about the nude protests that have been taking place in Pamplona each July 5th, for the past 15+ years!  This non-violent event in Pamplona has grown into a protest of about 2000 naked, or at least semi-naked, PETA members - all of whom are true animal lovers and much concerned about the treatment of the bulls, during the San Fermín fiestas.  Most of these kindhearted adults wear not much more than their red scarves and tiny bullhorns on their heads, and, consequently, they are quite successful in gaining lots of attention and international news coverage for their cause! The exact time and route of the protests are usually unknown to spectators - and even to the participants, as well!  But, you can be sure that the protests will take place on July 5th - sometime in the late morning through the afternoon hours, in the old city, Pamplona! 

Rumors ran rampant this past July, 2017, that the nude protesters were not going to come to Pamplona on July 5th, so as not to draw more curious tourists and money to the San Fermín fiestas. However, rest assured, there were indeed hundreds of semi-nude PETA participants, scattered throughout the Plaza Consistorial, aka the Town Hall Square - and, yes, lots of photographers did show up to record the events in high definition!

For more information, and to pre-register as a nude participant, check out: http://www.runningofthenudes.com/

NUDE protests in Pamplona - July 5th!

Many of you have written to us, asking about the nude protests that have been taking place in Pamplona each July 5th, for the past 15+ years!  This non-violent event in Pamplona has grown into a protest of about 2000 naked, or at least semi-naked, PETA members - all of whom are true animal lovers and much concerned about the treatment of the bulls, during the San Fermín fiestas.  Most of these kindhearted adults wear not much more than their red scarves and tiny bullhorns on their heads, and, consequently, they are quite successful in gaining lots of attention and international news coverage for their cause! The exact time and route of the protests are usually unknown to spectators - and even to the participants, as well!  But, you can be sure that the protests will take place on July 5th - sometime in the late morning through the afternoon hours, in the old city, Pamplona! 

Rumors ran rampant this past July, 2017, that the nude protesters were not going to come to Pamplona on July 5th, so as not to draw more curious tourists and money to the San Fermín fiestas. However, rest assured, there were indeed hundreds of semi-nude PETA participants, scattered throughout the Plaza Consistorial, aka the Town Hall Square - and, yes, lots of photographers did show up to record the events in high definition!

For more information, and to pre-register as a nude participant, check out: http://www.runningofthenudes.com/

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Are the BULLRUNS really dangerous?



Now that the sanfermines, 2018, are rapidly trampling upon us, many of you have written to us in the past weeks, inquiring about our own opinions about running with the bulls in Pamplona. Many of you have asked if the bullruns are really dangerous??!! 
We can tell you from the experiences of many of our Pamplona friends and family: THE BULLRUNS IN PAMPLONA ARE NOT REALLY DANGEROUS.....THEY ARE REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY DANGEROUS! 
Included here are two photos that tell the story quite well, photos that were taken within seconds of these particular events happening, on the same day!

 

Friday, April 20, 2018

HOW CAN WE PREPARE OURSELVES for RUNNING with the BULLS in PAMPLONA?

Many of you have asked us for suggestions as to how to run with the wild bulls in Pamplona...
If you do plan to run with a pack of six, wild, angry, and frightened bulls, we suggest that you do yourself, and those who love you, a real favor:

Read and study the very important information about "Running with the Bulls" at this great website: http://www.partyearth.com/cities/pamplona.

Viva San Fermin, 2018!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

WHERE CAN WE LEAVE OUR LUGGAGE DURING THE SANFERMINES??

Many of you have written to us, asking where can you leave your luggage, backpacks, etc, before you are able to check into your rooms, or after you check out of your rooms??

You will be happy to know that there is a "left luggage" area, called the "Consigna", at the old school building, located directly on the Plaza de San Francisco, in the heart of the sanfermines fiesta! 
The hours of the "Consigna" are from 8:00am on July 4th, continuously through 2:00pm, on July 15th.
 
The cost to leave each piece of luggage, each backpack, etc is about 4.75 euros, per 24 hours.
 
Viva San Fermín. 2018!




Monday, April 16, 2018

What are the ENCIERRILLOS? - HOW do we get tickets to the ENCIERRILLOS??


The Encierrillo refers to the event in which the bulls and the lead oxen are led from the Gas Corrals to the corrals of Santo Domingo, where the bulls spend their last night.  The word Encierrillo refers to the "short Running of the Bulls" and involves about 400 meters of nocturnal bull-running, without any lights, except the usual street lamps. This event takes place in the night, although there is no fixed time - you can expect that it will take place some time around 10 o'clock, in the night.  The ambience of this "short Running of the Bulls" is tranquil, and the running takes place in silence.
Tickets to this event are very limited and very difficult to obtain.  If you are interested in attending one of these nightly Encierrillos during the San Fermín fiestas, please email us right away, so we may make a reservation for your group.  We will do our very best to obtain tickets for you. Here's a video link, to give you an idea of what to expect, if you are lucky enough to acquire tickets:



Saturday, April 14, 2018

What about PARKING during the sanfermines??

Many of you have been asking about where to park a vehicle during the very crowded dates of the sanfermines -

If you plan to bring a car to Pamplona, please know that all streets in the old city are blocked to traffic, during the fiesta dates of July 5th, through and including, the 14th. Parking is sometimes available at the airport; along the perimeter of the Parque de la Taconera (see photos above); and in the residential area called "Rochapea", across the Río Arga from the old city, and about a 15 minute walk to the fiesta. Here is the link for where the Rochapea area is located: http://maps.google.com/maps?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLJ_enUS311US311&q=rochapea+pamplona+spain
Please be aware that leaving a car for several days, or even overnight, may be risky.
 
 






Thursday, April 12, 2018

Are the BULLRUNS really dangerous?


Now that the sanfermines, 2018, are rapidly trampling upon us, many of you have written to us in the past weeks, inquiring about our own opinions about running with the bulls in Pamplona. Many of you have asked if the bullruns are "really" dangerous??!! 

We can tell you from the experiences of many of our Pamplona friends and family: THE BULLRUNS IN PAMPLONA ARE NOT REALLY DANGEROUS.....THEY ARE REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY DANGEROUS! 

Included here are two photos that tell the story quite well - 
Any questions??!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Which BUS do we take from the PAMPLONA train station to the OLD CITY??

Many of you have been asking a very common question:  From the train station, which public bus is best for transport to the old city, Pamplona?  The only bus from the RENFE train station in Pamplona, to the old city, where the sanfermines take place, is the Bus # 9.....You will see the bus-stop just outside the main entrance/exit of the train station....and, you can expect a short 10-15 minute bus trip into the old city, depending on San Fermín traffic!




Sunday, March 18, 2018

HOW to RUN with the BULLS in PAMPLONA - Part 2


So, you have decided to "run with the bulls" in Pamplona, and you now know that you do not need to "sign up", per our last post on this topic. So far, so good. Here is what you can expect next:

Since you read the last post, you know that all runners gather in the Town Hall Square, the "ayuntamiento", at least an hour before the run. Thus, you are now packed into a small area between the wooden barricades with about 3,000+ other runners. There is so little room that everyone is standing up as there is nowhere to sit down. In addition to the Spanish and Basque languages, you will hear conversations of all types going on around you, in just about every language. At this point, everyone is calm but there is a nervous edge to the chilly air. You can feel the rising anticipation underneath the calm at this point.

Don't be surprised to see policemen, at this point, wandering through the streets and scoping out the crowd. They are looking for unsuitable runners. As I mentioned in the last post, while this is insanity and all hell is about to break lose in an hour, it is organized insanity and there are rules.

If you appear drunk, the police will eject you immediately. (One friend of ours was even ejected, just before the bullrun started, for wearing a shirt that had been seriously stained with sangria while sitting with the social clubs - called the 'peñas' - during the bullfights the evening before! Apparently, the police has assumed that he had been drinking during the night, and, so, they threw him off the bullrun route!)

The police are also looking for people carrying cameras or wearing 'helmet' cams on their hats. If they find that you have either, you will be ejected without question. If you have open-toed shoes or other inappropriate dress, you will be ejected immediately. If you are ejected, it is suggested that you not put up a fight or make any dispute with the police - they are very serious about their jobs and will not listen to any appeal. They probably won't understand your language, anyway! If you are selected for rejection, you are rejected - it is just that simple.

Remember, these animals are their prized bulls that the city pays handsomely for, and their priority is the safety of these bulls from the corral to the Plaza de Toros. Next, we will talk about the last few minutes before the event begins.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

TIPS for RUNNING WITH WILD BULLS in PAMPLONA! Part 1


The first question I get asked about running with the bulls is, do you have to "sign up" ahead of time to run? The simple answer is "no" - you do not "sign up" for the run, but there are definite rules that runners need to follow. Here are the basics:

During the Festival, the bulls run every morning from July 7 - July 14, inclusive. This is done in order to move the bulls from the corral at the edge of the old city to the bullring where they will fight later that same evening. Since there is a bullfight every night of the San Fermines, then there is a bullrun every morning.

Each morning, the police allow anyone -18 years or older - who may be interested in running to enter into the Plaza Consistorial, or Town Hall Square, in front of the Town Hall, aka "Ayuntamiento". This is the only place that runners can gather before the run. All the rest of the unknowledgeable tourists spread themselves up and down the route of the bullrun and are very sadly disappointed when the police force them from the streets before the bullrun begins - then there is very little time left to navigate through huge crowds in order to enter the bullrun at the designated areas.

Please note that at about 5:30am, revelers are forced from the street so that the city can clean the streets before the bullrun begins. This is done more for the safety and security of the bulls than it is for the runners. The city pays big dollars for these fighting bulls, and they do not want any bull to get injured during the run. If a bull were injured during the run, then that bull would not be eligible for a fight that night.

Next, we will explore what happens once all the runners gather in the Town Hall Square. Stay tuned for Part 2.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

What about CAMERAS at the CHUPINAXCO ceremonies on July 6th??!!


If you insist on bringing a camera into this madness of the CHUPINAXCO, we suggest that you wrap your camera completely in a waterproof bag. Or, we suggest that you bring a waterproof camera, due to the huge amounts of champagne, wine, mustard, mayonnaise, eggs, or other colorful condiments and refreshments that participants throw upon each other!  

We suggest that you do NOT bring your favorite, expensive digital camera into these crowds - your camera will either be ruined with the above mentioned champagne, wines, etc...or, the professional pickpockets may very well add your camera to their collections of San Fermín contraband! See pictures here,, whic show the density of the crowds that gather for the chupinaxco.

Watch this video for more information:  http://www.sanfermin.com/index.php/en/la-fiesta/txupinazo
More info on what to expect at the CHUPINAXCO will follow in another post.




Monday, March 12, 2018

What about CAMERAS at the CHUPINAXCO ceremonies on July 6th??!!


If you insist on bringing a camera into this madness of the CHUPINAXCO, we suggest that you wrap your camera completely in a waterproof bag. Or, we suggest that you bring a waterproof camera, due to the huge amounts of champagne, wine, mustard, mayonnaise, eggs, or other colorful condiments and refreshments that participants throw upon each other!  

We suggest that you do NOT bring your favorite, expensive digital camera into these crowds - your camera will either be ruined with the above mentioned champagne, wines, etc...or, the professional pickpockets may very well add your camera to their collections of San Fermín contraband! See pictures here, which show the density of the crowds that gather for the chupinaxco.

Watch this video for more information:  http://www.sanfermin.com/index.php/en/la-fiesta/txupinazo
More info on what to expect at the CHUPINAXCO will follow in another post.