Travelingbug.org wants to send out a tribute to all the people who successfully ran in the 2011 Running of the Bulls. It is one of the best events that happens in the entire world. I have to say that is one of the biggest parties that I have ever been to. It is now only 340 days away and counting until 2012!
On one of my European trips we were chilling in Barcelona, and had not planned out our trip very well. We did know that we had one goal...run with the Bulls! We had no way to get to Pamplona. Every bus going to Pamplona was sold out. There were no rental cars available, and the trains were all full. We were left with almost no options until we figured out that you can take a one way flight from Barcelona to Pamplona! It is a little bit more than a train ride, but when you have no other way to get there, and you have a short window of time you have to bite the bullet. So we took a quick 1 hour flight. We landed, and the sun had already gone down. We didn't even know where to go...we had no place to stay...and we had our bags.
we did hear from other travelers to go to the train station. so once we got to the train station we were able to rent a locker and throw all of our belongings in there. The next thing we needed to do was get our running of the bulls outfit! So after leaving the train station we headed to the city center which is about a 15 minute walk. On the way there were so many people selling t-shirts, pants, the bandana, and sash. It was only about 10 euros for the whole outfit!
It was only about 9pm by this time, but we were already seeing people passed out around the whole town. This festival is probably the biggest party I have ever been too. people party the whole night all the way up to the running of the bulls at 8am. Everybody in the whole city was dressed in white, and everybody had a drink/bottle in their hand. We walked around the city, hung out in the plaza, saw the course where the bulls run, and then around 5 am we wanted to chill. Since we didn't have a hotel, we headed to a park to lay day and sit around to talk to other people. i think i slept about an hour and then we all headed down to the street around 7am.
Tips for going to Running of the Bulls:
1. Get there the opening day of the festival. Starts at 12 pm and the Mayor of the town starts off the festival in the Plaza in the center of town!
2. DON'T get a hotel room - drop your stuff off at the train station, and stay out all night until you run
3. the race is at 8am sharp. The police make you start on the first straight away. They drop a barrier down, and if you are beyond that then they clear you off the street and you can't run. So make sure you are all the way at the beginning
4. Gringo's - if you ask all the locals if you should run or not they always say no. Hardly any Spaniards run with the bulls. almost all the participants are tourists. So be careful!
5. Leave after you run...you can catch a train or bus very easily right after the running.