July 08, 2015

Pamplona, Spain

After staying up until about 06:00, I completely snoozed through my alarms, thus missing the encierro today (probably a good thing). I eventually woke up after 11:00. Giovanni stopped by my room not long after to drop his bags off for the time being since his nights were up in the hotel he was staying at and he would eventually share Michelangelo’s room tonight before flying out of Pamplona the next day. I was still exhausted from the long night before and from having consumed too much alcohol (if there is such a thing); so, John took off to join the group of Americans that Michelangelo and I had hung out with the night before whilst I stayed in my room to recuperate. Eventually, I left the room and walked to the Burger King in the old town (strategically placed along the encierro route, thus giving it great exposure on the televised bull runs) to eat a cheap and quick meal (an XXL burger, French fries, and an iced tea). Next, I walked to the Carrefour Express and bought some drinks and snacks (a bottle of Rosé, Aquarius sports drinks, two Monsters, dates, mini donuts, pistachios, and juice) before returning to my hotel room, where I relaxed most of the rest of the day. At 20:00, I met up with Michelangelo and we walked to the Plaza del Castillo to eat dinner, ending up at Bar Txoko, where I had slices of pork loin with piquillo peppers, a salad, French fries, beer, and a churro that I dipped in to chocolate – this meal filled me up pretty well. After eating, we met up with Giovanni and the group of Americans. We all hung out in the plaza, listening to a band play traditional songs while watching a lot of the locals dancing and drinking beer. At one point Giovanni bought four beers from some guy who had them in his backpack; the ones that Michelangelo and I got were frozen and spewed nothing but foam when we opened them. Later on, we all walked back to the hotel Michelangelo and I were staying at to use the bathrooms and drink some more before heading out to see the fireworks that were scheduled to go off at 23:00 (the fireworks show is every night at this time, fired off from the Ciudadela – we had intended to see them the past two nights, but did not; now we were determined). We all left the hotel shortly before 23:00 and as we were walking to towards the Ciudadela, the show began. Eventually we reached the Avenida del Ejercito and watched the show from there, which turned out to be quite nice (better than what I saw in Florence on June 24th; although, in Florence, the fireworks were too far away from where I was and therefore not as spectacular). After the show, which lasted about twenty minutes or so, we walked to the area behind the hotel and sat down. I had a sangria, as did others, and some ordered food. While talking with the Americans, one guy and I decided to run the encierro tomorrow, planning to meet up in the Plaza Consistorial at 07:15 (I ended up not seeing him there the next day and I can only imagine he had had too much to drink and slept in). I then finished my sangria and said my goodbyes to the gang after midnight. I walked up to my room and went to bed. At 01:00, John returned to the room to get his bags and move them to Michelangelo’s room. I finally fell asleep around 02:00.

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