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Friday, September 23, 2005 (read 855 times)
 

Fiesta de San Fermín, Pamplona

by Tini

Hello dear all, my name is Tini and I've been studying at don Quijote in Salamanca. I absolutely adore Spain, everything is just lovely: the food, music, people, drinks, scenery, fiestas, culture, the list is endless really.

One of the things that's so great about Spain is that you can travel from the sunny coast to the Gaelic north within a matter of hours and experience completely different worlds on the same peninsula. Today I'll be sharing one of my craziest travel experiences ever: going to Pamplona for Fiesta de San Fermín, the famous "corrida de toros". This was back in July, but it still is a vivid memory.

My friend Katie and I signed up for the tour at don Quijote, along with several other students. We left Salamanca at 8am and got to Pamplona in the afternoon. It was day 3 of the 8 day-long fiesta and by that point in time the entire city was filled with people from all over the world. When we first got there we were a pretty big group, but we all got separated and it is nearly impossible to find anyone in a big crowd like that, especially when everyone is dressed the same. The official San Fermín outfit is pretty much a white pair of pants and t-shirt, red sash around the waist, and a red handkerchief around the neck. So imagine a frenzied city filled with drunk people in white and red in the afternoon. It got much crazier at night.

To be honest I felt so tired by midnight that I just wanted to go home. It was too much for me, but the bus wasn't scheduled to go back till 10am the next day. By 1am I felt like crying because I was too sober for the scene. Anyways, we started walking around some more and came across this big techno party near the Plaza de Toros. It was huge! We got there early enough to dance in front of the big stage and made friends with the crowd around us. One of the guys I made friends with happened to be one of the DJs of the event, who promised to let me dance on stage for the opening of his set at 3am. When he started his set he wore a mask, the lights were turned off and I came on stage wearing a gas mask from WW2! There were more than a thousand people and everyone was staring at what was going on. Anyways, after my little performance we danced a bit more until we got tired. We then started walking around and ended up having to buy sweaters at 5am because it got so cold! Like many others we took a nap in the park. It was freezing and it felt bizarre to see so many people sleeping all over the place …

The famous bull-running event takes place at 8am every day of the Fiesta de San Fermín. We started looking for a viewing spot before 7am and in the process we ran into our roommate from Brazil, who was totally drunk and lost. Needless to say, once we actually started making our way back to Salamanca, everyone on the bus was sleeping soundly, including one tall guy who slept on the walkway.

Being back in Salamanca felt like being at home. I took a nice long hot shower, slept, then went out for ice cream in the beautiful Plaza Mayor.


Keywords: toros,students,spain,salamanca,fiesta

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