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.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A day off from San Fermin

If you are going to spend several days in the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, and you fancy some rest but don’t have a car, you can take the bus which will take you to San Sebastian’s beach. 
San Sebastián / Donosti
It will take you only 55 minutes to go from Pamplona to San Sebastian. The bus station is very well located in the centre of Paplona ... but we aware that the buses in Pamplona Bus Station are on the ground, so don´t expect to find them on the surface.

Nine New Media Proyects

Organized by the "Diario de Navarra" newspaper Laboratory, Hackers Hack & collaborating with the Mozilla Foundation, this journalism and technologies marathon ended up with the presentation of nine new projects and mobile applications, developed by some 50 participants between those being physical and those online in just 72 jours.

San Fermín, International Fireworks Competition

For the third consecutive year, the City Hall of Pamplona commitment to an open-popular-vote contest to choose the different Pyrotechnics Companies participating in the famous fireworks during the festival of San Fermin 2014. Again this year, the fireworks will be projected from 6 to 14 July, at 23 hours, from the Ciudadela (Citadel), with a minimum duration of 15 minutes.

Last year they participated in the fourteenth edition of the Pyrotechnics Zaragozana SA, Mc Pyro Klangfeuerwerkskunst (Austria), Pyro Privatex SRO (Slovakia), Pyrotechnics Thomas SL, SL Focs d'Artifici Europlá, Vulcano SL, SL Brothers Caballer Pyrotechnics, Pyrotechnics and Fireworks Turis SL, María Angustias Pérez Pyrotechnics. In 2013 the award was won by Tomás Pyrotechnics.

The "Red Sash" and the Running of the Bulls

In general, those who try to "Pamplonica" clothing they wear not only white clothing and the red scarf but a Red Sash on their waist. 

Mercaderes/Estafeta Corner

Few years ago it was recommended not to wear the red sash as during the Running of the Bulls the runner could be hooked by the bull introducing the horn on the sash and dragged the runner. To prevent this horrible and dangerous situation you cannot see many people wearing them during the Running with the Bulls.

David Crocket: From De Alamo to San Fermin Festival

Along with Joe Distler, Matt Carny, Jesse Graham, Chris Humphrey, Noel Chandler and The Bomber, Davy Crockett (descendant of the legendary hero of El Alamo Battle, Texas) reached Estafeta St. decades ago.

 They were the vanguard of a wave of Americans who came pushed by the winds of adventure and Hemingways history and tales. In their physical and inner journey towards the Bull Run there is friendship, party, risk, passion, promises and obsessions. In this walk they learned and came to draw bull runs that only the legs, head and the heart allowed to a very few. This is how they forged great and amazing friendships.

The Running of the Bulls: The BIG SHOW

450 million people, that is exactly the potential audience worldwide during the Bull Run. The telecast in RTVE (Spanish tv) reaches 100 million households in 200 countries around the globe. 

Mercaderes/Estafeta Corner

It is the most watched and crowded Festival of Spain. From 6 to 14 July, Pamplona multiplies by 8 its 200,000 inhabitants (the weekend are over two million), many of them foreigners. 3,000 people pile up to run the 850 meters of the daily running of the bulls, but it is said that only 200 of them will really run in front of the bulls. Nowadays American and Australian Governments warn about the dangers of participating in the crazy Running of the Bulls. If you want to enjoy in a safe manner and participate in the joy, rent a balcony. Especially in the curve of Mercaderes and Estafeta St. where the Dead Man Corner is known and all the most important journalists are located. 

Journalists and photographers during San Fermín Festival.

The International Press Organization is in charge of making the distribution of all the press accreditations provided by Pamplona´s City Council. Last year a total of 1,926 accreditations information professionals from 18 countries were given: Spain (333, that means 80% of them), the rest were given to several professionals from: France, USA, UK, Australia, Austria, Sweden, Ukraine, Japan, Russia, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Colombia, Venezuela, Germany, Canada and Finland.

The Running of the Bulls is the event that generates most interest within the mentioned media. Specifically, 416 professionals have been accredited to cover this particular event among all the events of San Fermin Festival. The most popular closures are on 7, 8 and 9. 

The International Press Center in San Fermín

The International Press Center in San Fermín began as a private initiative thirteen years ago. It´s responsible for meeting the needs and providing all kinds of support to information professionals come to Pamplona from anywhere in Spain and abroad, during the days leading up to San Fermin Festival and more intensely during the nine days of festivities. Currently receives support from the Government of Navarra and Pamplona City Hall.

Since 2000, IPC (International Press Center) has focused their work mainly focused on addressing and helping journalists around the World during the San Fermin Festival. In addition, they are offered a writing place so they can develop their work as well as all kinds of assistance they could need, from helping them to locate the different spots and spaces, main protagonists of the festival, access to the main events such as the fantastic place in the Dead Man Corner to take the best pictures (they are just beneath our feet), bullfight tickets, accreditations for the Chupinazo (Operning Ceremony), the Pobre de Mí (Closing ceremony), etc. .

Pedro Armestre

On July 7 takes place the first Bull Run Pamplona. The photographer Pedro Armestre created last year´s “San Femin Greatest Picture” under a very special & warm light illuminating  the Running of the Bulls and taking the advantage of having the overlooking perspective from a rent balcony situated in Mercaderes St overlooking Estafeta St.

In social networks it was published as "possibly the best photo of San Fermín in this century" ..
The photograph was born in the photographer´s (works for AFP agency) three years ago. He had forgotten his backpack on the street (where the international journalists have granted to stay) and a young lady located on the same curve that where our balconies are situated, the curve of Mercaderes St with Estafeta St. on the famous Dead Man Corner saw his backpack, went to the street to pick it up and bring it to him. From that moment on, he decided he had to find his way to rent a balcony in our corner. He express himself clearly: "Since this happened I had the photograph in my head: 'I have to get that balcony' ... and for the result, we are happy to say that he did.

Hemingway´s Rute in Pamplona

Plaza del Castillo: Bar Txoko, Iruña Café and Hotel La Perla. Nowadays the unique 5 stars hotel in Pamplona. After receiving the Nobel Prize he used to stay in this hotel (it was a hostel at that time) as its balconies overlook the street Estafeta, one of the main streets in the Running of the Bulls itinerary. Their balconies are in the same height as ours. You can access the hotel restaurant through Estafeta  St but during the San Fermin Festival you have to enter through Plaza Castillo, where the main entrance to the Hotel is located (The restaurant chef is Alex Múgica).
Café Iruña. Plaza del Castillo

Paseo de Sarasate: Hemingway used to eat the restaurant "The Potxolas"; but unfortunately doesn´t exist anymore. In its place nowadays you will find one of the nicest places in Pamplona to have hot chocolate with “churros” . Other popular place where you can find them is in Estafeta St, close to the Dead Man Corner where our balconies are located.  
Avenida San Ignacio: Hotel Yoldi. Remains exactly as in the old times. Is one of the main headquarters of the matadors that attend the bullfight ring every afternoon.  
Eslava Street # 5: Is a really old hostel and very economic. He used to stay there is his early years attending the San Fermin Festival when his financial resources were scarce.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

More photographs by Inge Morath

These  photographs belong to Inge Morath: San Fermín Festival, All photographs belong to the fifties.  They all belong to the Magnum Agency

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer is here!

Pamplona´s Planetarium  held today the summer solstice ( in the northem Hemisphere)  commenting different observaciones and creating several workshops.  The general public has the opportunity to learn the history of different Constellations, Planets and the Universe as they are explained by astronomers involved in this activity. Is not only fun but for free!

Pamplona Planetarium

Pamplona´s City Hall has distributed 25 cans, thanks to an ingenious system as they will act like cameras to capture during the next six months unseen images of different parts of Navarra and record the passage of the Sun across the sky of Navarre.
As explained by Javier Armentia, Director of the Planetarium, this "marcianada" (playing with the words as in Spanish “Marciano” means alien) is part of a global initiative called 'Time in a can' ('Weather canned') and in 2014 Navarre Center joined.
These cans, that only weight 13 grams with a look like or been a bit longer than the usual ones of 33 cl, have been modified by hand in the Institute of Materials Science of Madrid so the light could filter through a small hole of 0.27 mmdiameter, and remain collected in a special photo paper placed therein. Therefore, each can become a pinhole camera, recording an image similar to that obtained with a wide angle (170 º).

More details about Hemingway

Hemingway's presence in the San Fermin was almost constant in the first decades of the twentieth century. He didn´t miss any running of the bulls during the following years: 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1929 and 1931. After the interruption of the Spanish Civil War, in which he participated actively in favour of the Spanish Republic, and World War II, he returned in two new opportunities 1953 and 1959. Hemingway while he was in the San Fermin Festival he never acted as a distant observer, the Nobel laureate lived the fiestas, was immersed all the way through, as befitted his passionate and intensely vital temperament. He participated not only on the Running of the Bulls, attended all the Bullfights but he mixed with all the local people and enjoyed the authentic feeling of this amazing party.

In 1960 he did not feel strong enough to go to Pamplona and he decided to cancel his reservations. He did the same in 1961. He was buried on 7 July, San Fermin Day of that year, the day of San Fermin, shortly after the Opening Ceremony took place.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Mr. John Kerry

Mr. Alan Solomont, the american embassador in Spain, has revealed that his old friend, Mr. John Kerry, the  United States Goberment Secretary runned in front of the bulls in the Running of the bulls in San Fermin.

Homer Simpson and San Fermin Festival

The Simpson have dedicated a short film to San Fermin Festival in Pamplona. They encounter different surprises while running with the bulls. We should have told them that we still have spaces on our rent balconies in the Dead Man Corner? Click on this link to watch some scenes

Famous Character in Pamplona

Many famous influenced by the passion with which Hemingway enjoyed the holidays and how well reflected in his stories decided to experience the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona. In 1956 the film version of "Fiesta" by director Henry King was filmed with a cast of famous actors formed by Ava Gardner, Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power. During those years, many of the American film industry stars visited Pamplona. Some of them where the director and actor Orson Welles, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr, the actor Charlton Heston, the playwright Arthur Miller with his wife, the Austrian photographer Inger Morath.

 In more recent years, the personalities coming to Pamplona to discover the San Fermin Fiesta have been the granddaughter of writer Margeaux Hemingway, Alfredo Bryce Echenique, the West Indian Literature Nobel Derek Walcott and the famous film director Spike Lee. Other famous and distinguish visitors not coming from the Film Industry have been Matt Carney, who became a great bull runner with his friend and teacher, Jerome Echagiie; Alice , Joe Disler, David Black, (he came 40 times on a row); Ray Morton and a young Bill Clinton. The writer James Michener takes a look at his book "The Drifters" stating their presence during different San Fermin editions.

Keith Baumchen

Keith Baumchen, better known by his friends as The Bomber, became one of the most illustrious visitor from the United States attending San Fermin Festival more than 40 years .  Unfortunately he died last year at the age of  65 after failing to overcome a serious illness which have him struggling for months.

This California resident in Garmisch (Germany) and tireless traveller, was one of those Americans who never missed the appointment of the Opening Ceremony (Chupinazo) every July 6. Following Hemingways footsteps, he and other famous "touristy" as Joe Distler, Matt Carny, Jesse Graham, Chris Humphrey, Noel Chandler or Davy Crockett (descendant of the legendary hero of the Alamo) arrived to Estafeta St decades ago and decided to run every single time in the same place.
Bomber used to say that for him, the nine-days of San Fermin Festival were "a gift and a celebration of life," and claimed that from the very first time he visited Pamplona, he had never known another place where you will breathe the same festive atmosphere than at San Fermin.