Aussies getting stuck in at the Running of the Bulls
Pamplona in Spain has come alive with the Running of the Bulls for the San Fermin festival. One Aussie at the heart of the activities gives us a rundown of all the chaos.
THE Spanish town of Pamplona in northern Spain has come alive for the annual San Fermin festival. Better known as the ‘Running of the Bulls‘, this yearly event is high on many a traveller’s agenda and Australians have again been at the fore in Pamps this year.
With Wednesday’s opening ceremony done and dusted, thousands of people have taken part in the daily bull run where they are chased down the narrow Pamplona streets by six fighting bulls before bursting into the bustling bullring where they are then confronted by another six aggressive steers (male calves).
One Australian who has been enjoying the action and adrenalin is Topdeck Travel’s Events Manager Amelia Lawrence. While she says she is a little exhausted from it all, she’s undoubtedly having a ball too.
“The opening ceremony was, once again, massive! There seemed to be so many more Antipodeans celebrating the start of San Fermin than in previous years,” Amelia told Australian Times from Pamplona.
“One thing that always amazes me is that no matter how loose the Aussies and Kiwis get, covering each other in sangria, shaving cream, egg and flour, there is huge respect shown for those locals who don’t want to be covered in muck.
“To see a Spanish family (mum, dad, grandma, grandpa and the kids) all dressed in their bright white outfits, while the tourists around them cover each other in sangria and all the time avoiding the locals, it’s quite a site.”
Amelia said that, as in previous years, many tourists miss out on running in the first bull run on 7 July as so many Spaniards want to run but she confirmed the adventure seeking Aussies more than had their fill this morning and will continue to over the next week or so.
“Even more popular [than the running] is watching the craziness from the bull ring, where tourists and locals join in Spanish chants and songs. All in all, it’s been an intense but awesome start to San Fermin 2011. Though, I am looking forward to a long shower and even longer nap once I get home.”
So far, there have been no major injuries to report but Pamplona is known for its unforgiving nature and there is always the risk of serious injury or even worse.
Hopefully 2011 will be an exception to that rule as the happy travellers, locals and adventure seekers keep the San Fermin tradition firmly alive.
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