Saturday, May 9, 2015

Poster 2015 San Fermín Festival

The poster entitled Kilikón, has won the contest for San Fermin Festival 2015 and will announce Pamplona´s Festival 2015. The poster has as its main protagonist, the  Caravinagre gigant who´s one of the main characters of San Fermin Festival and very dear for the local people.   

The author of the poster of this famous Gigant during the San Fermin Fiesta is  Javier Erice. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The brave Bull or toro de lidia

The story of the wild breeding has more than three centuries since the Spanish breeders started selecting the bulls for bullfighting in the eighteenth century; We are, therefore, to the world's oldest cattle breeders.

 The bull is considered the most representative emblem of Spain outside our frontiers. Such is its appeal that has been exported to neighboring countries: Portugal and France, and has arrived to the American Continent.
There is an anti-bullfighting movement that is totally against the cruelty that the bulls experience. The bull advocates maintain that if it were not for the bullfights, the brave bulls would have extinguished. Bullfights are popular all over Spain. Pamplona´s Bullfight Arena is only open during the San Fermin Festival.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

"San Fermín 2015" poster

On Monday March 2nd the period to submit the different proposals for “San Fermin 2015” Poster has been begun and will run until 25 March. As in previous years, the format of the poster is 100 centimeters high by 70 wide and must be in a foam based support and packed accordingly. One of the most important rules is that the text must include the text 'Pamplona / Iruña. San Fermin 2015 6th to 14th July / Uztailaren 6tik 14ra '.

2014 Poster

Following the dynamics of past editions, the jury will select eight finalists and then a voting period will open for those citizens who want to choose the official poster winner. The winner will receive a prize of 3,600 euros and he/she will have the privilege of announcing the upcoming fiesta. Last year 546 posters where submitted to this contest, 205 of which were from Pamplona, ​​112 from other places of Navarra´s County , 217 came from other Spanish regions and the remaining 12 came from abroad. Last year´s winning poster, titled “The Great Team” by its author Ignacio Domenech from Alicante, Spain obtained 25.3% of the votes given by the citizens voting.

All the works can be submitted from Monday to Saturday from 10.30 to 13.30 pm in the Office of the Citadel of Pamplona (Avenue del Ejérctio s/n). All the rules can be downloaded on the website

The competition is open to domestic as well as foreign authors, who may submit only one work, original and unpublished, using their free technique. LET´S GO!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Snow to Pamplona

These days the snow has come to Pamplona. In the pictures you can see the Running of the Bulls Monument along with Plaza del Castillo, Hemingway´s favorite place. Its appearance is almost deserted so different to what you´ll see during the San Fermin Festival.

These days the snow has come to Pamplona. In the pictures you can see the Running of the Bulls Monument along with Plaza del Castillo, Hemingway´s favorite place. Its appearance is almost deserted so different to what you´ll see during the San Fermin Festival. 

Plaza del castillo. Pamplona.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Urederra River

Most people visiting San Fermín party do it for fun, to meet other customs, experience the running of the bulls, see young people running on the Dead Man Corner ( Estafeta´s Curve) and so on. Ernest Hemingway enjoyed the San Fermin Festival and then he found out the way to relax among the beautiful natural places of Navarre. 

One of them was the Urederra River source and yesterday was chosen one of the Seven Natural Wonders of rural Spain. Is a wonderful place, full of charm. If you visit Pamplona during the SANFERMIN and you decide to stay longer, this will be worth visiting as is less than an hour from the capital, Pamplona.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Autum in Pamplona

During the last San Fermin Festival the recorded temperatures in Pamplona where lower than what we are use to. The records obtained from the meteorological stations of Navarra´s Government, have confirmed the cold temperatures in fact the recorded temperatures were the lowest in the past 30 years. Now we can understand why we were so surprised!  

However, in Pamplona, ​​autumn temperatures were very atypical. In September and October we have enjoyed higher temperatures than in July, during the San Fermin.

Chicago Bulls and San Fermín

Chicago Bulls, founded in 1966,  is the NBA´s professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois. This week they have unveiled their new 'spot' for the new NBA season, which has just begun. This promotional video that evokes the San Fermin festival, will be projected just the game and is aimed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the United Center Court.

In it, the bulls herd silhouette dominates the famous city in the northern of United States, where the shadows become reality with the roar of a herd that conquest its streets. The pitch black Bulls, 'assault' the different avenues to finally reach the United Center, home of the Chicago Bulls.
Creating a video for the games is a tradition for the Chicago Club, in fact this is their sixth project directed by Michelle Harris. It´s worth commenting that the previous one, was directed by the Wachowski Brothers Studio in 2006, very known for being the authors of The Matrix trilogy. 
I wish that this year the Spanish player Pau Gasol will help the team to be successful and decides to visit Pamplona and see a “real” running of the bulls from the Dead Man Corner (Estafeta & Mercaderes St). 
To watch the video, clik below: 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

San Fermín Txikito Festival

This weekend was difficult to walk around Pamplona! Yesterday hundreds of parents with their children, came to watch the Giants and Big Heads. There are many families with children who decide to take their holidays during the San Fermin Festival (July) and run away from the crowds, so this is the perfect time for their children to enjoy the music and dance of the Giants and their entourage as in during the real San Fermin Fiesta. 

In Basque language, Txiki means . So San Fermin Txikito is the San Fermin Festival concentrated just on a weekend. Imagine the ambiance as for this  year, 127 activities were scheduled. 

San Fermín Chiquito is held at this time of the year because is close to the martyrdom dates of the Saint Fermin, the anniversary of which was Thursday July 25. But we will talk more about this in another post.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Jack O' Brian: Australia; In Memoriam

On July 18th  2014, the Boeing 777 airline of Malaysia flying  from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Donetsk in Ucrania, as you know this area is where the armed conflict between pro-Russian and Ukrainian took place. Unfortunately, a missile shot down the plane and dramatically ended the lives of all those on board. Event the USA government confirmed that the plane was shot down by a surface to air missile. 

Fifteen days later, Navarra´s newspaper on his Sunday supplement illustrated a full report with recent photographs of the deceased. This is when I found out that a young Australian with his SAN FERMIN scarf was among the passengers. This post is dedicated to him, so that his memory remains in those places where it was during the San Fermín Festival. From the bottom of my heart I wish that his beloved ones will remember him as the  that image of camaredereie and joyfull expression that appears in the photograph I saw. In Memoriam

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The new Running of the Bulls regulations 2014

The new running of the bulls regulations has eliminated the police barrier that used to contain those running at Santo Domingo´s Hill. As you know, the corrals with the  bulls participating on the bull run are just few meters away. This police barrier prevented the runners to meet the bulls too soon as a safety measure as these are one of the most dangerous meters of the itinerary because the bulls run at a high speed due to their short legs.

It has been assessed that this is an avoidable risk for the local police in Pamplona. Instead, it has been painted a line of contention that runners should not cross. So for first time in history, the amazing image where we could see on the tv how the police were holding the runners to avoid them to encounter the bulls too soon will not occur. To get an idea of the situation at the beginning of this video you can see the last time this happened.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Four Nobel Prizes in Literature

They followed the trail of Ernest Hemingway, Miguel Angel Asturias of Guatemala (1968) Nobel Prize for Literature; Derek Walcott, West Indian (1954); Mario Vargas Llosa (2005).

I even venture to include in this section the playwright and screenwriter Arthur Miller, Prince of Viana Prize for Literature in 2002.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Edward Kennedy

The San Fermin festival have had a great impact on big leaders of the world of politics and American business. Although their trips used to be "incognito" there are several records of Edward Kennedy visiting San Fermín in 1962.

(according to private photo Carmentxu Ocariz published in recent dates in a local newspaper and Caroline Kennedy (daughter of John F. Kennedy) in 1972, as with many other young Americans, whose experiences are so well described by writer James A Michener in "The drifters".

Around the same dates, as you can appreciate in the picture, his brother JFK visited Mexico in the mid of a great popular clamour. He was received by the then President of Mexico at that time, Mr. Adolfo López Mateos.

1962, July 13

Orson Welles

Orson Welles, with two Oscars and numerous other awards as a screenwriter and film director visited Pamplona, ​​San Fermin, three times., 1955, 1961 and 1966.

 In the photograph can be seen smoking a cigar while attending an evening bullfight. In the early 2009, the American Film Institute proclaimed that the film Citizen Kane, directed by Orson Welles in 1941, was the best film of American Cinema.

In the 60´s during his visit to San Fermin Festival, we don´t know if it was a consequence of the economic problems he was under because of his films shootings or if he was just forgetful but the truth is that during the last time he stayed at the La Perla´s Hotel in Pamplona, nowadays the only 5-star in the City, he left without paying their bill. 
Obviously the hotel didn´t claim.

Henry Ford II

In 1987, the motor car magnate, Henry Ford II the grandson of the founder of Ford Car Industry flew to Pamplona to assist the San Fermin Festival from Houston in his private plane, nothing less than a Boeing 727.

Darril F. Zanuck

The great Darril F. Zanuck visited San Fermin Festival in Pamplona in 1963. One of the main producers during the golden age of Hollywood and founder of the Twenty Century Fox. 

He came back in 1964 with the actress Irina Demick who at that time was the female main character of " The longest Day", a huge film about the Normandy landing

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Dennis Rodman

The first running of the bulls on San Fermin festival 2009 had an unexpected runner. Dennis Rodman was noted not only because of his height stood out from the crowd but his tattoos, piercings, rings, chains and a black cap made him extremely noticeable. He decided to wait the bulls at the final stretch of the Santo Domingo Hill, ran few meters very close to the bulls and then decided to turn away followed by several runners running the same part of the chosen itinerary of Running of the Bulls.

He arrived in Pamplona accompanying Ray Sabbatini who last year unfortunately, was diagnosed with multiple scleroris. Their goal: Raise money for a foundation that fights this disease and they were sponsored by Golden Palace Casino.
The famous NBA ex-player said he had been frightened and had not felt such strong emotions even when winning at the NBA´s. He said he had fulfilled a dream and declined to say goodbye to Pamplona because as stated, he will return!

San Fermín: The Festival of Joy

Sometimes the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona can be perceived as chaotic and far too wild. But is not so, on the contrary, its de Festival of  "Joy" and "Solidarity". Take my word for this as I´m not keen on big crowds but I have enjoyed San Fermin Fiesta for over thirty years!


Although most risks appear to be around those wounded during the daily Running of the Bulls I can tell that the worst ones are for those driving intoxicated and with excess alcohol consumption. The police presence is immense: they are police controls on the motorway when you access to Pamplona as well as other policeman dressed in plainclothes that mixes with people on the main events.
Last year, before the Opening Ceremony (Chupinazo), on one of the streets next to the City Hall (where the Chupinazo takes place), there were tense moments before the deployment of a large Ikurriña (Basque Country Flag with a lot of independent content depending where its shown). Some youngsters threw few bottles and a girl from Madrid was wounded but although they were thousands of people at the Consistorial Plaza in that moment, the police managed to identify and arrest last September the alleged perpetrators.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Russian Tourists in San Fermín

This year, we are pleasantly surprised by the large number of Russian tourists who are participating in San Fermin Festival. Behind our American customers, Russian clients really appreciate and enjoy our VIP services.

Thank you very much!

Photographers and International Agencies

This post is a tribute to photographers of Diario de Navarra Newspaper that during Navarre San Fermín 2014 will be again at the forefront of the Running of the Bulls providing all the news of San Fermin Festival.  

José Carlos Cordovilla, Jorge Nagore, Javier Sesma, Eduardo Buxens Jesus Garzarón Naomi Larumbe Larrión José Luis Enrique Pimuolier Jesus Caso, Fernando Pidal, Pachi Calleja, Carlos Calleja, Aitor Esparza, Ruben Albarran, Cristina Abbey Koldo and Turrets Alberto Galdona.

Foto Jorge Nagore

By the way! The long crisis we are living has also affected the number of photographers who come to San Fermin. Some international agencies have covered the Running with the Bulls with only one photographer from day 11. In fact, the fateful last year, July 13 a curious thing happened. Nor EFE, Reuters, AFP and Getty had a single picture of what happened in the Plaza. My newspaper gave some images to EFE, and all agencies had to find different pictures of amateurs or freelancers who were in the Plaza.
I´m glad that a freelance photographer was over there to photograph that horrible moment.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Running and The Bulls 2014 : United States

The 2014 San Fermin Festival, which this year will be recorded and broadcasted for the first time in HD, will be shown by Esquire Network in the States through NBC Universal, channel and millions of viewers will have the chance to follow them!.

Spanish TV will capture, as usual, all the details of the exciting bull run thanks to the 25 cameras placed along the entire running of the bulls itinerary (less that 850 mtrs) , which runs along the streets of the Pamplona Old Town, starting in Santo Domingo´s Hill and finishing in the Bullfight Arena.
In addition to the eight bull run starting on July 7 and finishing on July 14, the Esquire Network audience will also enjoy different images of the best bulls of the San Fermin festival in previous editions, as well as some of the highlighted moments of the festival along its history.
Esquire Network is a channel of entertainment and lifestyle on different areas from fashion to culinary lifestyle or travel. Aired in September 2013 in 75 million homes across the United States and is a division of NBC Universal.
In Spain, viewers have great interest in enjoy the San Fermin Festival on their home tv thanks to the Spanish tv. In 2013, they were seen by an average of 1,663,000 viewers, 70.7% audience share in La 1 (Nacional Spanish tv) and Canal 24 Horas. This means, the most watched seconds in history, after 2010.

Dolores Aguirre Livestock has already arrived to Pamplona.

Dolores Aguirre bulls are already installed in the Gas corrals (the corrals where all the bulls are gathered before being guided to the Santo Domingo Corrals the previous night of their Running with the Bulls that in this case will be on July 8 and in that evening will be the main protagonists in the Bullfight.  

The eight bulls weigh between 479 and 595 kilos and they are all black. Each Livestock, at the moment that arrive to Pamplona, they must leave their bulls in different compartments among the Gas Corrals.  
It tradition in Pamplona to go down to the Corrals to see the bulls through special glasses (the bull won´t see the people so it doesn´t get nervous).The access is through a hill close to the Town Hall. All you have to do is go downhill (about 10 walking minutes). Admission is € 3 and children accompanied by adults don´t have to pay.

Jose Luis Larrión

Amazing photographer and even a better person. He has photographed the Running of the Bulls over 30 years. In this link you can see and hear a brief and interesting interview. Worth seeing the pictures displayed José Luis Larrión "30 Sanfermines fotografiando carreras"

José Luis Larrión at the Town Hall befote the Running of the 

Photography obtained through the blog

Friday, June 27, 2014

I Edition Photo Contest of San Fermín Festival

Yesterday it was presented by the Diario de Navarra newspaper and Banco Santander the First Edition of Photography Contest of San Fermín having in mind to reward the best photographs taken during the San Fermin Festival.  

Miguel Induráin

A jury, chaired by Miguel Indurain (the famous bicyclist), will choose the top three that will be awarded with  1,000, 500 and 300 €.
The public can participate through this link

Each participant may submit up to three photographs. And the pictures could also be sent from the web

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jeffrey Rath in Estafeta Curve

This Retegui and Zubieta’s photography relates to 2002. Bulls used 6 minutes and a half to finish the run, basically because a black bull, called "Emerald" 'of 601 kilos, It "stretched" in the alley near the square for two minutes. When he got up, went in the opposite direction causing all kinds of scares. However, the image of the Bullrun was that the one a man sitting on top of the animal, in the Estafeta Curve. Nobody knew about him, or who was, either how was he called , or why it ended on the backs of the animal. This atypical stamp was the cover of Journal of Navarre the next day, July 11. Two days later, the journalist Javier Lesaca walked around the running of the bulls in search of the man who had starred one of the most popular images from the recent bull run. And he found it! He was Jeffrey Rath, a Californian man of 49 years who was staying at the The Perla Hotel, working as an English teacher in Beijing. He related his enthusiasm about the running of the bulls since 1979 and posed with his friends for the camera of the journalist.

Fotografía de Zubieta y Retegui

Fotografía de Zubieta y Retegui

But that was not the whole story of Jeffrey runner. In 1985, on July 13, was gored by a bull, was gored in the buttocks and was hospitalised in Navarra’s Hospital. The 14th the Mirura’s bulls were running, so he decided to "escape" from the hospital to run the last Bull Run. His friends tried to convince him otherwise.
I guess today will be in Tokyo or USA or maybe he is travelling to Pamplona!.
Courage and tenacity does not lack for sure!

Veterans photographers in San Fermín

Zubieta and Retegui’s photographs have been an icon of the San Fermin festival since 1940. His family has donated half a million snapshots to the Pamplona City Council.

These are a small sample of his photographs of the San Fermín Festival:

Rafa Rivas

Rafa Rivas is a photographer who works on their own. Here you can see some of his photographs of the Bull Running.

If you want to see the work of this great professional you can click this link

Photographers in the Curve of Mercaderes

Photographers start arriving to the Curve of Mercaderes between four and half past five in the morning. Obtain an accreditation to photograph the Bull Run does not mean to have a specific place reserved. The Curve is a privileged place to get that single snapshot of the bull by a few inches to the target without risking his life.

In this small space is respected the order of arrival is (as in the fish market). The photographers wait two or three hours to be one of the thirteen who are admitted.
American John Kimmich is been repeating every year in the 'Curve' spot. Besides he is a great photographer, he is an early riser and patient male as it repeats for 21 years. In the photograph is the third, counting from the right.

International Press Agencies

It seems that the crisis has also affected the number of photographers who come to San Fermin. Some international agencies have covered the Bullrun with one photographer from the 11th July. Indeed, the fateful day 13th July a curious thing happened. Neither EFE, or Reuters, AFP and Getty agencies hadn’t a single photo of the tragedy that was happening at the entrance of the Bullfight Ring. The Journal “El Pais” gave some images to EFE, and all the rest agencies had to seek pictures from amateurs or freelancers who were in the Bullfight Ring at that momnet.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ibán Benítez Forniés

Iván Benítez Forniés, is a journalist of Diario de Navarra. Yesterday, the Association of Journalists of Navarra decided to honour him with the award of Jounalist Navarra´s award 2010 acknowledging his work as follows:  "For keeping the core values ​​of journalism and going to the places where the real stories occur, feel them, live them and find what happens behind the scenes, understand the people, listen to them, empathize with them and come back to tell us about what they have experienced".

Ibán Benítez Forniés

No doubt this photograph, which I especially love, is set within those values.
In this photograph made by Eduardo Buxens you can see Iban Benitez Fornies scalating while taking a photograph of his partner Mikel Zabalza.

Añadir leyenda

Photographers on the Dead Man Curve. (Mercaderes & Estafeta St.)

The balconies and the fencing among the Running of the Bulls itinerary is our workplace during the Running of the Bulls, says Jonan Basterra. “In the fence you can put yourself half sitting on the vertical pole, resting your feet on the second horizontal piece of wood with one foot in and one out like a clamp. So your feet are like five feet from the ground, you will still feel a bit exposed not only to the runner but to the bulls that might pass too close to the fence.

In the 22 years of taking pictures, Jonan has seen many colleagues falling but fortunately none of them had serious injuries. We explained that one year a colleague was injured in his cheek when with the impact of an object generated by a bull sliding on the famous Dead Man Corner.  
The famous Dead Man Curve (Mercaderes & Estafeta St) is perhaps the most dangerous for photographers, especially when the bulls it the fenced or when they raise their heads as they get up. And even more if the bulls are the Miura Livestock as they are very big and pass far too skim as happened in these images taken by Fernando Pídalas. You can see how the carpenters on this area (they ought to be permanently just in case they have to solve an urgent problem) deviate a little when they see the bulls coming but on horn scraping the elbow of the photographer Jesús Garzarón.


In Europe the number 13 is not a popular number among the superstitious. When they are counting, the even said: twelve twelve + one! fourteen… There is a Spanish saying ( in Spanish it has rhyming) that says, "when 13 don’t get married or embark."
Well, in the running last year (2013) 'on the 13th, at the entrance to the Bullfight Ring one of the carpenters of the Running with the Bulls was waiting the arrival of a group of Policeman. Because of the overcrowding, the carpenter could not close the door and many people slinked through preventing to close the door. The space to enter the bullring was halved in a matter of seconds. A huge human pile was created within seconds and it was no way out except from retracing the steps and finding a catnip to escape.

We knew the bulls where on their way to the Bullring so we were panicking!  We could see all those trapped, some with the bulls horn on their face feeling the breath of the bulls, other suffocating crushed by the crowd. The seconds were eternal, but fortunately enough the Fuente Ymbro beasts decided not to charge against the human pile and finally a hole was created on the same door that was left open so funny enough, what caused the tragedy became the solution! The bulls went down the alley and were forced to leave the arena by opening another door.  They went directly to the corrals. This running of the bulls provided an endless 4 minutes 15 seconds of anguishing moments. Several runners were unconscious and black and blue face. It was overwhelming. Dozens of shoes were left on the sand; you could see people crying with anguish ... The final balance was 25 wounded, 21 of them related to this human pile tragedy. The worst one was a boy from Vitoria, only 19. Nowadays he’s still in intensive care.

Eduardo Buxens

Eduardo Buxens, a Diario de Navarra photographer, has been awarded with the first prize at the Professionals First International Running of the Bulls Photography Contest
The decision taken by the jury was among all the photographs taken at the San Fermin 2011, and has been established in several categories, distributing them according to the stages of the running with the bulls. .
The different snapshots submitted presented different live moments of the Running with the Bulls witthing the runners and the bulls during the run to the Bullring.

In the picture, a bull´s horn is going through of the runners t-shirt at the moment when he is falling down while other two runners are already on the ground. Also, you can see on the cobblestones a paper with San Fermín´s image and the lyrics of the traditional song that all the runners sing to the saint before the Running of the Bulls starts.

Jonan Basterra

The photographer Jonan Basterra won the prize of the II International Photography Contest of the Running of the Bulls. Jonan Basterra takes 21 years photographing the San Fermin Festival as a renowned collaborator of Diario de Navarra Newspaper.

In the photograph you can see a runner who is alone facing a bull, holding out a hand to the beasts nose "as a defence or distancing the animal," the author explained. 

In the photograph you can see a runner who is alone facing a bull, holding out a hand to the beasts nose "as a defence or distancing the animal," the author explained. 
He described the snapshot as a "very simple and very, very clean" and he said it was a "classic" among the running of the bulls.  
The winning photograph was chosen from the jury’s selection among other twelve snapshots. Each one of the photographs was chosen from the different sections within the total itinerary of the running of the bulls. The authors were awarded with a trophy representing a piece of one of the poles removed from the fence.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Watching the Running of the Bulls from a Rent balcony.

This photograph of Iván Benítez Forniés shows the difficulty of watching the Running of the Bulls in the Dead Man Corner (The curve between Mercaderes St and Estafeta St. Those perched on the fences have been waiting there from 5am! Do you think they will be able to see anything or just good guessing?  

Mercaderes- Estafeta St corner

Places to Relax during the San Fermin Festival Experience

If you want to get out of the madness of the Running of the Bulls, the crowd and relax a bit during your San Fermin Festival experience but do not want to get too far away from Pamplona and yet again, you want a place to relax you must visit, Aqua Relax in Pamplona. You will find bubble beds, circular showers, hydrotherapy ponds, aromatherapy treatments... all you need to say goodbye to stress. All kind of Thermal Centres for reset your body and mind.

Itaroa Cube

The name of the place is Itaroa Cube: An urban spa with 7 indoor and outdoor heated polls only 5 minutes away fromPamplona. The hydrotherapy circuit includes water beds, footbath area, spa area with steam room and dry sauna, relaxation area with heated beds, a shower temple and various cubes designed for relaxation: salty cube, iced cube, flower petals & essences cube and warm cube.
It´s only 5 minutes away by car and if you want to go by bus, you can find one each 30 minutes.