We arrived to the Plaza de España at 2 pm for our bus ride to Pamplona for the San Fermines festival of the Running of the Bulls. I sat by my friend, Sarah, who is an au pair from Canada. We had two stops. The second was soley for a bathroom break. It should be a 4.5 hour drive, but it ended up being closer to 6 hours. Our bus was freezing so it was incredibly hard to nap. Napping was important because we all would be pulling an all-nighter.
Once we arrived we followed the guides to the main plaza, Plaza de Castillo. That is where I spent most of my all nighter. There would be music in the square, dancing, a hell of a lot of drinking, fireworks, and restaurants, and bars with some dancing. My first order of business was to find a place for food. After struggling through jam packed side streets, many closed nice restaurants, and extremely full bar restaurants, we found a little sandwhich place. Got myself a hoagie. There were many min parades with marching bands that would cross by on the street. It was cute. Then it began to drizzle. As we continued on our adventure to try and get back to the main square, it started to pour. We definitely handled it well because we walked through the rain for a while until we decided to "bar-hop" to avoid it. Many of the bars were filled with over 30 year olds playing rock music. Only thing I found cool about the places were the matching outfits haha. I cannot explain the stench, the dirtiness, and crowdedness.
Once we found the square, we realized it was going to be a long night. So we deciede to find "cool bars" where we could pass the night. We found a few in the plaza, and also once it stopped raining we explored to the beginning of the bull run, the encierro. Spent a good few hours bopping to music in 2 or 3 places. Sat down at some outdoor restaurants to get a break from standing. We never ordered anything though. It was rather chilly, too. Too hot in places pack to the ceiling with people, or too cold in the north Spain weather. Never a happy medium. We decided to explore some more and found a fairly empty pub called "O´something." Haha. We utililzed their bathrooms and some of the seating in their basement for some rest. Then we went right outside and sat on a stoop. We returned to the pub because it got really chilly during the 20-30 minutes of people watching from the stoop so we returned to the basement seats when Vy realized she no longer had her iPhone. We cleared all bags, and decided to return to the last bar where she last whipped it out to check her email...(while bopping in a dance club, I highly do not recommend showing people you have a valuable item by checking your email on it). We searched the corner were we all stood and nothing. I believe someone stuck their sneaky little hand in her bag when we were squished through one of the streets trying to get out of the plaza. You think its just people shoving into you, but really that's their diversion. Or in the club, one of those sneaky douchers mst´ve seen her take it out and somehow got into her bag when no one was paying attention. But that is crazy because we 3 always kept an eye on the bags. She did at one point have it on her shoulder for a while, so that must've been it.
We walked some more and found a diner-like place to pass about an hour with coffee and a crossaint. We then just walked and walked. Until it was near 6 am, and it was time to grab a spot to watch the Running of the Bulls. Yes, you need to stand your ground at least 2 hours beforehand. That was the roughest 2 hours ever. Sleepy, being pushed, annoying and loud drunk people, and horrid alcoholic and gross people smells, and all for less than 30 seconds of people and bulls running by. Lorrrdd.
Finally, it was 9 am. We were told sharp to be at the bus station because we had less than 5 minutes to board buses. Yeah well they were 20 minutes late. That was fun - not really. Of course, passed out on the bus, had a 45 minute break in the middle, passed out until we got to Madrid. Ate a salad at home, then slept until 9:30 pm. Man oh man. Rough weekend. Gotta catch up on sleep though, Nürnberg from Thursday to Monday!