Famous for pain, blood, guts and gore and the danger posed by angry bulls hurtling down the cobbled streets while people fall in from of them and try in vain to run in the crowds.
|Ernest Hemingway 1899 - 1961|
|Pamplona 2012. My friend Chris Hay is clearly visible under the red graffiti in the centre|
|Messing about on the famous Bull running statue in Pamplona 2012|
|The Hemingway statue outside the third largest bull arena in the world. It reads (In Spanish of course)|
I cannot wait to feel the sensation of joy and excitement of the opening ceremony. The town all dressed in white and red suddenly explodes into fun and celebration and all white clothing soon is soaked to the skin with sangria.
Imagine the mayhem of La Tomartina but better, more alcoholic and fun. It truly is an experience that you must sample.
Papa as he was affectionately pulled me into a world of macho, adrenaline fun, debauchery and brilliant Spanish culture.
|Ready for the opening ceremony. All clean before the sangria stains in 2012|
|2012 inside the arena, one of the most thrilling experiences of my life|
It would after all be rude not to especially when a toothless old Spaniard offers you a bottle of wine with a smile and a twinkle in his eye.
|The corrida inside the arena|
Would he be proud?
But if it were not for him would I have experienced the best 6 days of my life, twice and soon to be a third time.
Thank you Ernest. I hope when I run you smile down on me through your big white beard.
You showed me one of the true wonders of the world, an experience that will never diminish in the mind and one that will not leave the heart.
The Running of the Bulls, the encierro, San Fermin, Pamplona. Call it what you will the true fact of the matter is that I bloody love it!
17 days to go, 17 long days until the fun begins.
Viva San Fermin, Tora, tora!