Max Zaharenkov

Running with the Bulls: My Unforgettable San Fermín Festival Experience, 2017

Personal Experience
The San Fermín Festival – or as many know it, the Running of the Bulls – is a cultural phenomenon that’s been on my bucket list for ages. And in the summer of 2017, I finally had the chance to experience it. The adrenaline, the people, the festivities – it was all so surreal! Let me take you on a journey through my memorable time at this fiesta in Pamplona, Spain.

Budget: Given that San Fermín is one of Spain's most significant festivals, I knew it wouldn't be a shoestring budget affair. The trip set me back a fair bit, but believe me, it was worth every penny. Food, drinks, and festival attire (yes, the white outfit with a red scarf is a must) accounted for a portion of the budget. But the largest chunks were spent on transportation and accommodation, considering the inflated prices during the festival. Tip: Booking well in advance can help mitigate these costs!

Accommodation: Now, finding accommodation during San Fermín can be quite the challenge. Hotels and rentals get snapped up quicker than you can say "Fiesta!" I managed to secure a cozy, albeit pricey, rental apartment not too far from the city center. The convenience of its location, mere minutes from the festival's main events, made the cost worthwhile. Pro tip: Consider group bookings to split the cost!

Atmosphere: Nothing can quite prepare you for the electrifying atmosphere of San Fermín. As soon as I donned the traditional white and red, I could feel a shift in energy. The streets were abuzz with excitement, anticipation, and a shared camaraderie that transcended nationalities and language barriers. Pamplona truly comes alive during this festival, with music echoing through the streets, hearty laughter filling the air, and the collective heartbeat of thousands pounding in your ears. Unforgettable!

Experience: No amount of research could have readied me for the thrill of the actual bull run. The tense minutes before the run, the heart-stopping moment when the bulls were released, the chaotic yet exhilarating run – it was a blend of fear, excitement, and adrenaline. Besides the bull run, the festival's parades, traditional dances, and fireworks were delightful, but it was the infectious spirit of joy and celebration that truly stole my heart.

In summary, the San Fermín Festival was an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime experience. The budget and accommodation may require planning, but the unforgettable atmosphere and experience are well worth it.

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