11 July 2013

¡Un fin de semana espectacular!

Last weekend was kind of a crazy 42 hours with hardly any sleep for some of us. Saturday morning we woke up early and met at the doors of the University. Elisabeth, one of our friends who is working here in Barcelona this summer, also joined with us, as she had taken a class with Conxita last semester.

First off, Spaniards generally exaggerate. The week before we went on the hike our teacher asked us if we wanted to actually hike the mountain of Montserrat or if we wanted to take the train to the top. She told it was VERY VERY difficult, but you have to keep in mind that this is the same teacher that told us that ALL of us were going to get robbed in Barcelona. So, the majority of us hiked up, and hands down it was either the most difficult hike, or second most difficult hike that I have ever done. The total time was hiking for 1 hour and 54 minutes for myself.

The hike sucked, I am not going to lie, and I don't have any other words to describe it other than just that! Elisabeth and I wondered around the city and had a lot of fun checking out some of the different areas. I took the train down the hill, because I needed to save my energy. ¿Por qué? you might ask... Well, the truth is that on the same evening, just hours after returning back from Barcelona, twelve of us caught a bust to go to Pamplona. And why do people go to Pamplona on July 6 - 14?

The Running of the Bulls or in Spanish "San Fermines" is a crazy fiesta in Pamplona that lasts a week. The majority of you have probably heard about it, remembered your Spanish I high school Spanish teacher mentioning something along the lines of it... Well, it was amazing to live it!

We got to Pamplona at about 5 in the morning after one of the most uncomfortable seven hour bus rides ever. But it was totally worth it. The bus rolled into the station, and for a second I thought that we were pulling up into a sketchy trashy side of town. No... that was just a mountain of garbage from all of the party that had happened within the past 14 hours.

Our group split up into two groups. My group stood towards the end of the run, right before the bulls enter their slaughterhouse Plaza de Toros. Yes, the bulls die. Meanwhile the other group was at the beginning. I have a YouTube video uploading right now which everyone will be able to access later. After the epic three minute run, if that, which brought us to Pamplona, it was time to wander throughout the town and check it out. Randy and I went to a place that I had heard to check out that is called Bar Gaucho, which had Basque Tapas, since Navarra is really close to the Basque Country. It was delicious!

Everyone was wearing red and white! Those are the traditional colors of the fiesta. I saw people who were wearing orange shirts and running with the bulls, and I did not quite understand it, but that is fine. There were no deaths the day we watched it, however there were people that I saw who had become injured. I was afraid that one of the people that I saw was dieing, that was really intense for me, but it was still exciting. I wish that I could have ran, because it is not nearly as big of a deal that people made it out to be. Also, women... you can ran. Traditionally women were not allowed to do it, as the fiesta expressed masculinity at its finest, however I saw women running. So pack your running shoes!

At five pm we caught our bus and made the return back to Barcelona. We arrived around 11 back home, and when I got home I saw my bed and went into a coma. Yes, I slept that hard! I hope you have enjoyed this epic blog post, I never thought I would be able to post anything about it, but I did! Erika gets here tomorrow so I will be sure to post photos and such with our travels within the next week, and then I come home on the 24th! Thanks for reading!

Un abrazo,

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