Sunday, May 31, 2009

What time do the BULLRUNS begin?

BULLRUNS begin promptly at 8am, each morning of the fiestas - July 7th, through, and including, the 14th. A rocket blast at 8am, sharp, tells runners and spectators that the gates have been opened, and the bulls are on their way!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

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 always takes place after nightfall, although there is no fixed time - you can expect that it will take place some time around 10:00pm. 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:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Are there MEDICAL staff on duty during the BULLRUNS in PAMPLONA?

Yes, each morning of the bullruns, the city of Pamplona mobilizes more than 100+ volunteers to take care of any injuries sustained from the bulls and/or the other runners themselves. These medical volunteers are specially trained to care for bullrun related injuries, and they are spread out along the "Running of the Bulls" route. There are more than a dozen first-aid posts and four medical posts that are activated each morning of the bullruns. Pamplona also coordinates extra ambulances in the old city, and they hire additional staff at local Emergency Departments in Pamplona hospitals to care for any injuries related to the sanfermines, whether or not these injuries are directly related to the actual bullrun event. Color codes have been established during the bullrun hours - red, green and yellow - to designate the urgency of the case and to distinguish the particular hospital to which the injured will be taken. If you are a bullrunner, or if you love a bullrunner, don't worry! -Pamplona's ambulances are able to transport the injured to nearby hospitals within just a few minutes!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What about TRAIN tickets to Pamplona?

If you are planning to head to Pamplona on the rails, we suggest that you go immediately to, in order to secure a train seat! The train schedules for the first and second weeks of July have already been posted...and, many seats have already been reserved! Do NOT delay! Trains, like accommodations, book up very quickly for the sanfermines! Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

5th STEP of the SAN FERMIN ladder!

Just a quick note to remind all of you that today marks another milestone on the way to the sanfermines, 2009! Yes, today is the 5th day of the 5th month! We are getting closer and closer to our long-awaited San Fermín fiestas, and the official countdown is well under way!
In honor of what the sanfermines stand for, there are some things that you can do, in order to get ready for the greatest fiesta on the planet! First, call your work place, and tell them that you are calling in "well", and that you will feel "even better" today when you eat some churros for breakfast and sip sangria with your tortilla for lunch! Go out and throw sangria on your friends and on lots of unsuspecting people you don't even know! Next, take your kid's drums outside and walk up and down your neighborhood streets, beating the drums until you wake up as many tired neighbors as possible! Throw more sangria on even more friends and unsuspecting passers-by! Go out and dance the "jota" in any public place - we did this at our local grocery store last week! - great fun to watch the reaction of the store's customers! Also, stay up all night tonight, to get in practice for the real thing!
Repeat all suggestions above, until you collapse from fatigue, and then get up and do it all over again! Yes, today, we are on the 5th Step of the San Fermín ladder....Now, go out and have a blast!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

What are churros, and where do we get them?

Churros - sometimes called "Spanish doughnuts" - are a deep fried pastry that is 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 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.....