In Pictures: No Bulls, Not Even Bull$h*t, during this Quick Stop Where Bulls Run after Man in Pamplona, Spain (Day 38)

Our second family camping road trip from Spain to Poland and back is coming to a close. Here’s a quick stop in pictures to see where the bulls run during the world famous San Fermin festival (in Pamplona, Spain) that separates man from those who risk their manhood to the horns of the beasts. P.S. there are women runners too! Enjoy your trip!

Moments before the start of the running with the bulls, the runners sing to San Fermin three times to ask for his blessing and protection. I would have definitely sang A LOT MORE THAN THAT!
Ongi Etorri!” or “Welcome” / “Bienvenidos” in Euskara–language of the Basque/Basco.
Tapas, bulls and bulldogs?!? Hmmmmm.
Orienteering course 101. Gotta train ’em early!
Calle ESTAFETA (street): Kale ezagun honetan lasterketa ikusgarriak egiten dituzte korrikalariek, zezenen adarrak bertan dituztela. Tarterik luzeena da, eta zuzenena ere. Hemen zezenak polikiago joaten dira. YUP, I have no idea what that means. . . NOT ONE WORD! That’s the language of the Basque. Luckily there was an English and Spanish translation (see below photo caption).
Toro Loco marks the beginning of calle ESTAFETA (street): Encierro! In this popular street the runners get involved in spectacular races. The bulls tend to run more slowly in this street, the longest and straightest stretch of the run.
Kaj re-enacts the running of the bulls–a 100-meter dash, complete with all the screaming and shouting in true Andalusian fashion.
Monumento al Encierro” or the “Monument to the Running of the Bulls”. Literally “encierro” means confinement. Although I’m not sure which species liberates itself from this confinement in this San Fermin tradition. On your visit, take time to look at each piece in detail because it captured the reality of a moment. Also, apparently some bulls were shown castrated.
The beautiful bronze sculpture by Rafael Huerta of Bilbao that simultaneously captures the valor and fear in men and the power of the bull. Who is confined?
A mere 250-or-so-meter walk (3 minutes) from the Plaza de Toros you can find the famous sculpture that captures the energy of the running of and with the bulls Pamplona, Spain. This was about as close as the boys could go running with the bulls.
Kaixo! That’s Hello, Hola or Salut in Euskara (Basque language). I was reading the tourist information on the streets and there was not one thing I could understand, except maybe kale (I guessed it meant calle or street). Apparently, the origins of this language, Euskara, remains a mystery. And when you hear it or read, you’ll likely agree that it must have come from outer space!
A different monument to the bulls just outside Plaza de Toros. I wonder could this animal worship, putting them in pedestals and such, be part of our pagan ways? I say, “Moooooo!”
Great idea to have this modern playground under shadeful trees just right outside Plaza de Toros which provided an extra form of entertainment for our kids.
FLAMENCO. A cultural treasure imported from Andalusia. Many of the people from the line up are from our pueblo and many from our province.
Plaza del Castillo–Pamplona’s “living room” where everybody hangs out, or so it seems.
Well, that’s all folks. It was a rush of a job visiting Pamplona for a couple of hours. And yet, we just came to run the street where the bulls run that we saw on T.V. E ya esta!

Calle Estafeta Street

Estafeta Street (calle or “kaleta” in Basque language) is the most famous street in Pamplona, known around the world for this is where the “encierros” (or the runners) of the San Fermin festival are chased by the angry bulls.

It’s name comes from the first post office in Pamplona in the 19th century.

The street has two distinct parts. The first is where Estafeta curves with Merchant street (about 270 meters into the San Fermin running with the bulls) where the bulls usually collide spectacularly, to the Bajada de Javier. There are small local shops here selling “Pastas Beatriz”, “Churrero Gomez” and knives.

The second part is from the “Fall of Javier” all the way to the Plaza del Toros which is filled with bars and restaurant lined up with flags.

In all, it’s a 500-meter run-for-your-lives-bacause-the-bull-that-is-running-after-you-wants-payback-for-cutting-off-his-balls. . . from the curve at the beginning of Estafeta to the turn to the Plaza de Toros.

What else is there to see in Pamplona?

If we had a day (or more) in Pamplona, here’s likely what else we’d like to see in the city center. With young kids in tow, consider an overnight stay to give the city a proper visit.

Plaza del Castillo–Pamplona’s “living room” where everybody hangs out, or so it seems. It is a wide open urban plaza with a central pavilion and, of course, lots of restaurants & bars surrounding it. This square of the castle is where the Old Town with the modern part of the city. Houses from the 18th century overlook this square. Located about 4-minute walk (300 meters) northeast of Plaza de Toros.

Jardines de la Taconera–a beautoful walk along the city’s old northern wall with views from top of the wall. Lots of beautiful verdant greeneries and trees, even free-roaming chickens, roosters, deer in the protected area. . . even the rare peacocks! Located about 10-minutes walk from Plaza de Toros.

Parque de la Medina— It looks like Pamplona is already an incredibly green city with its parks and open spaces. This particular one is small but well-designed park with great views over the Arga river and the farming lands in the plains below. Located less than 10-minute walk from Plaza de Toros.

Hemingway monument and route: Bust of the famous writer Ernest Hemingway. You know, a Pulitzer Prize winner-writer of novels like A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. Why is it here? The BULLS! The route: visit the places frequented by Hemingway in his time, who was in love with the city of Pamplona. Both are located at Plaza de Toros.

A Blurb About Our Family camping road trip 2 . . . from Spain to Poland and Back

From a restful camping in the south of France, in a small village in the Pyrenees mountains, we move our modern gypsy caravan southwards.

On the other side of the mountain, on the French highway N134 and the Spanish E-7 through the tunnel pass, you’ll know you’re in Spain. You’ll quickly notice the dryness of the landscape as you come down the mountain and head west towards Pamplona.

The tunnel on highway N-330 on the Spanish side opens up into kilometer 666. So, if you are superstitious; best NOT to look.

You’ll also see Camino de Santiago road signs for pilgrims walking to Santiago de Compostela seemingly everywhere you drive in this part of Spain.

From Aragon to Navarra, you’ll pass by small charming hilltop villages, like Anso, and the lake amidst the dryness–places that you almost wished you had more time to stop by. “More time?,” the angelic tone of my wife notes. I get it. I get her point. After all we have been on the road for 38 days (with a break in Poland for about 3 weeks in between).

Then you go through an interestingly named “Tunel del Perdon” (or Erreniegako tunela in the language of the Basque/Basco)–1,050 meters long with modern windmills on top. In Spanish, it looks like it means the tunnel of forgiveness/sorry while in Basque “renegade tunnel”. Hmmmm.

No bulls at all on calle ESTAFETA during our vist; not even bullsh*t. Oh well! As in this picture, on this popular street on the left, the runners get involved in spectacular races. The bulls tend to run more slowly in this street, the longest and straightest stretch of the run. . . all 500 meters to the Plaza de Toros.

NEXT STOP: Salamanca, Spain. . . the city of Cervantes?

Then, onwards, southwards. . . to home. . . a mere 988-something kilometers to go!

But first, we’ve gotta park our gypsy caravan and pitch tent, somewhere near Salamanca…

Second half of the return trip of our family camping road trip. . . part 2 with 1,575 kilometers to go from Flower Camping in Naucelle (France), Lupiac, Lourdes, crossing the Pyrenees into Spain, Pamplona, Salamanca and HOME.
First half of the return trip of our family camping road trip. . . part 2 (2,236 kilometers): Poznan, Mainz, Luxembourg. Schengen, Strasbourg, Freiburg, Bern, Lausanne, Geneva, CERN, Perouges, Le Puy, Naucelle, and. . . 1,575 kilometers kilometers to go!

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