No amount of planning can prepare you for the Festival of San Fermin 2013 (locally known Sanfermines). Every year over a million visitors from around the world descend on the small town of Pamplona in Spain for 9 days in July.
The streets of this proud Navarre region are taken over with revellers adorned in white and red celebrating one of the craziest festivals in the world, the Festival of San Fermin. And most of them are only there to see, or participate in, The Encierro. Better known as the Running of the Bulls.
Festival of San Fermin 2013
If there is only one festival you plan to go to in 2013 then the Festival of San Fermin 2013 should be it. It will be the craziest, scariest, most exciting and adrenaline fuelled few days of your life.
San Fermines 2013 runs between July 6 to July 14, as it has for the last few hundred years. The festival marks the celebration of Saint Fermin who is one of the two patrons of Navarre, and is also considered as a martyr in the Catholic Church.
At noon on the 6th July the Festival of San Fermin 2013 will officially begin when the chupinazo, a ceremonial rocket, is fired from the town hall in Pamplona.
From then on it is one wild ride of sangria, bulls, dancing, fireworks and little sleep.
Festival of San Fermin 2013 Program: July 7 – 14 July
Every day after the 6th July until midnight on the 14th July, the San Fermines will run in the same fashion:
The Encierro or Running with the Bulls
From 6am, those not tanked up on sangria and still able to run safely will start gathering on the narrow streets of Pamplona.
This was one of the most terrifying parts for me as the tension slowly builds in the crowd and you really begin to contemplate what you are doing. Nervous hugs, jokes and silence ascends on the crowd of locals and tourists standing shoulder to shoulder in the pale morning light.
If you have any second thoughts then this is the time to seriously consider if you want to put your life at risk.
Just before 8am the runners ask for the protection of Saint Fermin by singing a chant three times before a small statue of the Saint near the bulls corral. At 8am the first firecracker is set off to announce the release of the bulls. A second firecracker is quickly sounded which signals that the last bull has left the corral.
In total there are six fighting bulls that have never run before accompanied by six oxes that are seasoned veterans. These oxes guide the other bulls to the arena. Shepherds also guide the unpredictable bulls to ensure they don’t turn on the crowd. Although it does still happen.
From there it is a wild 825 metre dash along the narrow fenced streets of Pamplona into the bullfighting arena. As the first bull enters the arena a third firecracker is released before the fourth firecracker announces the end of the run now that all the bulls are safely locked away in the bullpens.
But that doesn’t signal the end of the fun.
Once all of the bulls have cleared the bullfighting arena, young bulls with their horns wrapped in padding are released into the bullring to cause carnage. Be careful not to get taken out, or the crowd will laugh! And whatever you do, don’t touch the bulls or you will be set upon by the locals who consider the bulls sacred.
Festival of San Fermin 2013 Street Party
Hopefully you survived the running of the bulls and came out unscathed. And that is lucky as this is when the Sanfermines Festival really kicks off. As the Running of the Bulls finishes, the Festival of San Fermin 2013 continues.
Everyone grabs their sangria filled bota bags (wine skins) and parties on the streets until the following run the next morning.
We always took this opportunity to retire to our accommodation for a few hours to catch up on sleep, go surfing in San Sebastian, and grab some delicious local pinxtos (tapas). We wouldn’t return to Pamplona again until the evening because we needed the rest as the party is unlike anything you have every experienced.
You will see scenes that astound you, but make you rush to join in.
Like the men with Firebulls, which are basically a paper mache bull with fireworks strapped to their backs, running through the crazy crowd. Children chase after them and everyone ends up covered in scorching hot cinders. Watch the video below…
There are also countless parades and street bands wandering along the cobbled stones singing and dancing with the crowd. The Spanish really know how to party.
Bull Fights at the Festival of San Fermin 2013
Every evening from 6.30pm between the 7th and the 14th July the bullfights begin. The six bulls that ran that morning will be killed in the bullfighting.
The atmosphere in the arena is even crazier than in the street. I am not sure if it is the blood-lust or the sangria that gets the Spanish crowd so excited, but they definitely were enjoying themselves.
Just be aware that attending the bullfighting isn’t for everyone. I am not squeamish but by the killing of the third bull I had enough and wished they would finish each fight sooner.
We also appreciate the controversies surrounding the bull fighting and that post covers our thoughts on it which you might want to check out before deciding to attend or not.
And while the Pamplona bullring is the fourth largest in the world, it is full every afternoon and tickets are hard to find. We managed to buy some on the gate a few hours before the fight but were lucky to snap some up.
Where to stay for the Festival of San Fermin 2013
Finding accommodation for San Fermin 2013 can be nearly impossible if you don’t organise it months in advance. We joined Busabout for their Running with the Bulls tour which proved ideal.
The Busabout campground is located about an hour from Pamplona. However they provided breakfast every morning as well as tents and transportation to and from Pamplona throughout the day, and night. Don’t miss the last bus at 3am or you will be there until 6am like our friends were.
What to take for the Festival of San Fermin 2013?
If you are visiting Sanfermines for the first time then don’t go along with any preconceptions. Have an openmind and be prepared to party like it’s 1999 all over again.
If you are visiting San Fermin 2013 with a company like Busabout, then you don’t need much else other than some sturdy running shoes and a sleeping bag. They will provide you with the tent, red bandanna, white t-shirt and extra tips on where to go and what to do.
While the days are hot in Spain, the evenings can be cold, so consider taking an old sweater that you don’t mind throwing out afterwards. The stink and stickiness of sangria never comes out.
Should I run in the Festival of San Fermin 2013?
But be aware that this is a very dangerous and risky activity. 15 people have been killed in the Festival of San Fermin since 1925. While the last death was an American tourist in 2009 every year there are hundreds of people injured while Running with the Bulls.
Luckily most of these are not serious.
If you want more information and a full list of the activities during the Festival of San Fermin 2013, then check out the the Navarra Council website.
Or book your festival now!
5 UK festivals to visit this summer
The UK is so beautiful in the summer, why go abroad when you have thousands of fun things to do right here? People travel from all over the world to see our beautiful country, so get to know the UK better.
These are some of my favourite festivals for summer 2018. They are family friendly with entertainment for both parents and children.
BLISSFIELDS 5-8 July 2018 | Winchester. Whilst you’re getting your groove on, your children will enjoy making woodland fancy dress costumes in the Angel Gardens Family Area, having paint fights and dancing their socks off at the onesie disco and everyone’s in their happy place. Address: Vicarage Farm, Woodmancott, SO21 3BL Website: blissfields.co.uk Tickets: Adult weekend tickets from £100; youths £85
LATITUDE 13-15 July 2018 | Suffolk. Latitude must be the closest grown-ups can get to a real festival experience with the kiddies. You can enjoy yourself while your cuties hang out in the Enchanted Garden where there’s circus skills classes, screen printing and wildlife craft sessions. Address: Henham Park, Nr Southwold, Beccles, Suffolk NR34 8AN Website: latitudefestival.com Tickets: Adult weekend tickets from £197; accompanied teens from £132.50; children from £15
GIVE 13-16 July 2018 | Leicestershire. This tiny celebration of soul, house, funk, reggae and blues, grew out of a series of club nights started by a gang of warehouse ravers in the 80s. While it is not a family festival, many regulars now bring their kids, who love it. This year, watch British Soul singer Corrina Greyson and then head to the treehouse, bouncy castle, karaoke and magic forest schools. Address: Stanford Hall, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 6DH Website: houseofhoney.org Tickets: Adult weekend tickets from £175; under 18s £55; under 13s £30
DEER SHED FESTIVAL 20-22 July 2018 | North Yorkshire. Kick off the school holidays with this weekend of fun at Baldersby Park in Yorkshire, combining music, cabaret, comedy, theatre, book readings, family films, science workshops and lots of scampering in the woods. Address: Baldersby Park, Topcliffe, North Yorkshire YO7 3BZ Website: deershedfestival.com Tickets: Adult weekend tickets from £135; 6-15 year olds £45; 3-5 £10; 0-2 free
CURIOUS ARTS FESTIVAL 20-22 July 2018 | Hampshire. It’s all snail racing, midnight bat walks and bee-keeping lessons at the Curious Arts Festival, in the grounds of stately Pylewell Park. The film and poetry workshops for kids are a must. Address: Pylewell Park, East End, Lymington, Hampshire SO41 5SJ Website: curiousartsfestival.com Tickets: Adult weekend tickets from £128; 5-13 year olds £23; under 5s free.
Sometimes one can get tired of driving all over the country to the festival of your choice, then you also have to think about how much alcohol you consumed the night before and whether or not you’re ok to drive. Why not ‘coach it’? Travelling by coach means you don’t have to worry about driving at all, you can just sit back and relax and enjoy the ride. Click here for some excellent discount offers and have a fabulous festival summer!
Exploring Hawaii: A Guide
There are said to currently be 195 countries in the world, and each has its own unique qualities and possesses its own beauty. Amongst them, one of the most popular destinations has to be the breath-taking Hawaii. This beautiful state has eight major islands and is surrounded by clear seas and white sands making it a perfect destination for the beach lovers. In the instance that you’ve been thinking about going to Hawaii or are curious about what exactly it has to offer, you’re going to find out a few interesting things about Hawaii in the following guide.
Helicopter Tour to see Kauai Landscapes
If you enjoy seeing things from a bird’s eye point of view, then you should think about trying a helicopter ride. There are endless beautiful landscapes and unforgettable views for you to see, with the Kauai landscapes being among them. It may also be interesting to know that many of the amazing scenes that you saw if you ever watched Jurassic Park were shot there. If you do decide to go on a helicopter tour, you’ll be able to see the astonishing waterfalls amongst many other views.
Hawaii has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and Kaanapali beach is definitely a sight to behold. There is plenty of space to surf and sunbathe for those who are interested in pure relaxation. In case you want to do a little snorkeling, you should know that the waters are shallow and there’s also the possibility of seeing whales off the coast. In terms of accommodation, you could look for a nearby hotel or consider exploring different Maui Beach vacation rentals until you find one that suits your preferences and needs if you want something more personal.
Catamaran Snorkeling Excursion
For those who enjoy the mystique world beneath the seas, you may want to consider going snorkeling. If you’ve never been snorkeling before, it’s your chance to swim with all of the sea creatures and experience it firsthand. Some things that you can expect to see are exotic colorful fish, sea turtles, as well as dolphins. It is a chance to experience the Hawaiian waters in an intimate way and also an experience you’re likely to never forget.
Haleakala National Park
Another thing you can get up to in Hawaii is visiting the Haleakala National Park. This is home to the world’s largest dormant volcano. One of the most popular spots there happens to be the mountain which is 10,000 feet above sea level. Planning your visit in the morning would also make it special as you’d be able to see the sunrise which is said to be a beautiful sight. Once you reach the top of the mountain, you can then go down towards the mouth of the volcano. You can also visit the park’s most popular trail, Pipiwai, and take some stunning photo’s while you’re there.
Hawaii is one of the most popular vacation destinations, and it has been for a few years. This could be a result of the stunning beaches, many activities, or local culture. For these reasons, it is definitely a spot worth visiting in the near future.
Why Should You Choose A Couple Resort as a Romantic Getaway
There’s no point in planning a couple’s holiday retreat if you aren’t choosing a place that speaks of romance. Different couples have different tastes, some prefer long drives while some are into adventures. A majority of couples also turn to beaches or pick places that are known for calmness and quiet.
This is why it is important to know what your partner prefers so that you can choose a destination that fits everyone. This may be difficult, but what if there was a place that offered all of the above mentioned things? There is. A resort can offer you all this and much more.
You just have to find the best resort for the family and you are good to go. Remember that not all resorts are created same. For example, some are close to the beach while some are not. You need to find a resort that offers all the activities you are interested in so that you can have a great time when you go for a holiday with your partner.
Without much ado, let’s have a look at why you should go to a resort when you plan a picnic in the future:
If you are looking for memory making adventures as a couple then a couples resort is your best bet. Most resorts have their own excursions that you can opt for. This removes the need to find travel agents as you can book all that you need from the comfort of your room just by dialing the reception.
You can experience heart pumping activities like snorkeling, boat rides, jet ski and a lot more.
There’s no need to panic or worry if you haven’t gone through any of these activities before as you will be provided with safety equipment and training before you embark on your journey.
While all these are adventurous options, this is not all that a resort offers. You can enjoy other activities as well such as a couples massage and other relaxing activities.
Most top class resorts have their own spas where you can relax and allow your mind and body to soothe.
Meals are the soul of a holiday trip and bad meals can definitely ruin your adventure by ruining your mood. However, couple resorts are said to have trained and top notch chefs who know how to make the diners go wow with their cooking skills. There’s a wide variety of foods available at a couple’s resort.
You can look at the available menu before you book a resort so that you know what kind of food you will get at the resort. Many resorts offer all-inclusive deals where you pay a lump sum for your stay and food. This is a good option as it takes the burden off your shoulder and allows you to relax without any worries.
What’s your definition of a romantic spot? Sunbathing under an umbrella? Getting drenched in a jacuzzi with your partner? Expressing love on a boat while you’re in the middle of the sea? A couples resort can make all your romantic wishes come true and get you two connected like never before.
Let the receptionist know of your plan and they will make it happen for you. Plus, if you go for a couple resort you will be able to enjoy intimate moments without any trouble as they understand the importance of privacy and will provide you with all that you need.
Pack your bags and start planning your next trip tomorrow. The key lies in being on the same page as your partner and planning in advance so that you do not only save money, but also make every moment count.
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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