Trip Date – July 2012
| 🇪🇸| I’ve experienced few events as exciting as San Fermín’s Running of the Bulls. For the past 700 years, the week-long festival has attracted millions of visitors to Pamplona, Spain to honor and celebrate Saint Fermin, the co-patron Saint (along with Xavier) of Spain’s Navarre region. The fiesta runs round-the-clock from July 6-13 and, in addition to the iconic encierro, includes dozens of traditional activities.
While living in France for the summer, I made sure to block off the second week of July. There was nowhere else I wanted to be. On the morning of July 9 from 8:00 to 8:02, I experienced two of the most thrilling minutes of my travel career. In a 2012 version of vlogging, I made this video to document my participation.
And a few photos that I grabbed along the way.
Leading up to the event, my goal was to run alongside the bulls in the street AND make it into the ring – the doors are closed seconds after the final bull enters and is then inaccessible to runners. Timing is key. Much of the overnight preparation seen in the video was to ensure that this scenario played out the way I wanted. Luckily, it did, and being inside the ring proved to be even more chaotic and exciting than the streets. I went directly from the stadium to the train station and caught a 9am train back to Madrid. I was wiped out from being up all night so didn’t have any trouble catching up on the lost sleep.
I anticipate my visit to Pamplona remaining a top travel experiences for years to come. It takes a bit of planning and is not the most convenient festival to attend, but I would recommend it to anyone looking for a unique adventure.
Have you been to the San Fermín Festival? Would you run with the bulls?