Bull Run Itinerary Help

Old May 16th, 2008, 10:44 AM
  #1  
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Bull Run Itinerary Help

Ive finally found someone crazy enough to run with the bulls with me and we need some help with our itinerary.

We will be traveling into Barcelona then immidiately traveling to Pamplona(3 days). From here we will go to San Sebastian(2 days) then back to Barcelona(3 days) then to Madrid(1 day).

Accommodations are set but how do we get in between these destinations? Where is it best to use train vs bus? Advice on what should we see in these places? Food? Wine? We're young and single men to help out.

Any help would be extremely appreciated. Thanks.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 11:13 AM
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My friend went to it planning to run. Before the run they decided it was too crowded so they took a fence type barrier and "swept" a chunk of the runners off the street and turned them into spectators. If you really want to run, you may ask ahead about this and find out if there are places you are less likely to experience the last minute 86 from the run.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 11:39 AM
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Both the train and bus are good options for traveling between Barcelona and Pamplona, but flying is the best option (1 hour). You can take the bus from Pamplona to San Sebastian-Donostia, but you'll need to make reservations once you reach Pamplona as this is a very busy route during the fiesta. Rail service is also available, but there are only three trains a day.

As for what to see and do in Barcelona and Donostia, I recommend you read Maribel's Guides (http://maribelsguides.com). For Pamplona, you can download the latest newsletter (May 08) from Iberian Traveler (http://iberiantraveler.com/it_newsletters.html)
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Old May 16th, 2008, 11:59 AM
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I also highly recommend you read Mat Dowsett's book " Encierro! A guide to the running of the bulls". It should be available on Amazon.

You might also want to read "Pamplona, Running the bulls, bars and barrios" by Ray Mouton. It's probably the best book written about the fiesta.
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Old May 16th, 2008, 09:30 PM
  #5  
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Cool. Thanks for the advice. What about getting from San Sebastian to Barcelona. Train? Bus?
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Old May 16th, 2008, 11:08 PM
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Flying is often the best way, but you can take the bus, or train. If you take the train, it would be quicker to take the bus back to Pamplona and then take the train to Barcelona.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 09:18 AM
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Thats actually what I was thinking about. Thanks Robert.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 09:22 PM
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Let us know if you need any additional help.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 03:10 AM
  #9  
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Regarding the transportation means of your trip, you have several possibilities , train, bus car, rental ,plane.
I will like to comment in the actual running of the bulls, I am not sure if you are well informed.
The running starts every morning at 8AM for the 7 days of the fiesta. The bulls run from the "toriles" south of town to the Plaza, center of town.
The run takes place in a narrow street for aprox 1km, and last just a couple of minutes. The place is crowded and there are many more runners than can actualy fit in the streets, weekends are to be avoided.
The place is so crowded that the local police makes a selection, and if you are drunk or not in shape for the run they will not let you stay there.They do not ask, they will say "Fuera" which means "Get Out" and if you do not react, three big policemen will help you out.
There is another important thing to know and this is the way the "Cuadrillas" proceed.
. This is group of local friends that get together every year and participate in the run. They will carry something that will recognize them as from the same group. Like a tee short or something like that.
Again as it is crowed and dangerous these groups will run protecting their members so one day a group of 5 will run and the rest lets say 15 will try to keep clear the way for their runners and the bulls. If you are not involved in one of these cuadrillas your chances of doing a good run or getting close to the bulls are limited. The risk is high but somehow controlled if things are done properly. Good runners, running
infront of the bulls, never on the side, not touching the bulls as this will distract them from going strait with the herd,runners that are used to it do a sort of rely run to keep the pace.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 12:08 PM
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There are actually 8 days of the encierro, the 7th through the 14th. The fiesta last 9 days, beginning at noon on the 6th of July.

Officially, the route of the encierro, comprised of four sections, is 815.23 meters long, or about 892 yards. The first section, at 271.57 meters, is the fastest as the bulls charge up Santo Domingo to the Town Hall Square. The second section is from the Town Hall Square to the Mercaderes Bend, La Curva (sometimes referred to as Hamburger corner thanks to ESPN) and is 133.92 meters long. Itís a very short section and very dangerous because of the number of people who wait in this area. The third section is along Estafeta and is the longest at 295.90 meters. The danger here is that the bulls may separate at La Curva and be coming up behind you. There is only one safety exit along this portion of the run, about halfway down the street. The last section of the run, 113.84 meters long, is from the end of Estafeta, Telefonica, into the bullring. The route narrows and slopes downward to the tunnel leading into the Plaza de Toros and can be very dangerous because of the number of runners who fall in this area.

The average encierro is generally under 3 minutes, measured from when the first bull leaves the corral on Santo Domingo and the last bull enters the bullring and passes through the gates on other side. The fastest bull covered the course in 1:58 seconds.

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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 09:48 AM
  #11  
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Has anyone ever used this Eurail. How valuable is it. Im thinking of getting a pass for my stay in Spain.

http://www.eurail.com/1_railway_spain
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Old Jun 3rd, 2008, 10:34 PM
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Try the Spain Rail Pass instead.

Neither one would be needed, depending on the number of trips you plan on taking. Rail tickets in Spain can be very reasonably priced if you plan ahead.
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