The infamous San Fermin Festival certainly lives up to its hype. Between the drinking, bull running, and more drinking, it’s hard to not get lost in the vast sea of red and white. The streets are constantly full of bands marching, hooligans stumbling, and foreigners cheering traditional chants they don’t know the words to. While the overall sensation here is intoxicating, some of the cultural aspects in Pamplona are quite nauseating. Ryan and I attended one of the Bullring fights last night- blood spilled faster than our beer. And it’s not just the bulls who suffer, but horses and matadors too. One of the younger bullfighters was tossed like a rag doll within his first few minutes inside the circle of death. Luckily, he only suffered minor injuries and managed to take a bow in the center moments later.
After our fair share of squirms and gasps, Ryan and I continued to celebrate the San Fermin festivities with a group of friends from Southern Spain that sat next to us in the arena. Many jugs of wine and Cola (the Spaniards love to mix their wine with soda) were consumed into the early hours of the morning. However, time here matters as much as the wine stains on your shirt. The music never stops, the stores never close, and the nightly firework bull always runs up and down the main drag, which eventually burned me a couple times with its falling ambers.
Pamplona is one hell of a host for this party that never ends (technically, it does tomorrow) and what better way to solidify our time here than to run with the bulls themselves at 5am? Wish us luck! Cheers.