Day 4, Spanish Spree: The Day I Ran with the Bulls (OK, No, I Didn't)

Need to catch up? Day 1Day 2Day 3

Today, we started the day in San Sebastian.

That’s a picture of a Jesus statue. Notice how far away Jesus is. See all that lush greenery below Jesus? Yeah, a path cuts through all that greenery. A path you have to take on foot to get to the top. Now, our guide TOLD us it takes 20-30 minutes to get to the top. Unlike yesterday with the tower, I could see the path before me. But I went anyway because again who knows if I’ll ever be here again. Knowledge is power and all, but it didn’t stop me from gasping for air all the way to the top. At least the path was outside unlike the tower staircase, so I could keep track of my progress and know all that walking was leading somewhere.

Here’s proof that I made it to the top! I’m way closer to Jesus now!

And the views were amazing! I know I keep saying that, but Spain really is beautiful.

After making my way down to the town again, we wandered through the town and then found a place to eat. I knew about tapas, but another word I learned on the trip was pintxos! Pintxos are basically tapas on bread. I ate a lot of pintxos and tapas on this trip.

These are the pintxos I had for lunch. We went to a restaurant that had a bunch out on the counter to choose from. I chose the bacon ones, because, hello bacon! The one with orange sauce was DELICIOUS. I didn’t realize until I bit into it that it had shrimp inside. Heaven in my mouth!

After lunch, we went to the beach. I went through my photos to see if I took a photo while there and the answer is nope! I guess I was in the mood to relax. LOL. Oh well. Here’s a shot of the beach from when I was visiting the Jesus statue.

I had a mini-adventure before I made it to the beach. I went into a bathroom to change into shorts before going to the beach. I went into the first bathroom I saw. I got yelled at by a guy in pantomime when I came out. Another guy yelled at me too. I told the second guy “No hablo espanol” and he left me alone. What I think happened was that the bathroom was for the use of a private gym right next to the beach. There was a separate changing area/bathroom farther down the beach that I didn’t see until later. Oh well. It was an innocent mistake.

So after all that excitement, I chilled on the beach with some of my tour mates for an hour or so. While we were hanging out, this old guy walked by and STARED at me. I thought I might be paranoid, but my tour mates mentioned it before I could say anything. As one of them said, I must have been the first black person he’d ever seen. He was old, so I find this hard to believe, but dude was staring. Whatever.

Onward to Pamplona, home of the annual Running of the Bulls!

This is the building where the run starts every year.

We walked the route of the run, which wasn’t very long to be honest, which is good when bulls and bull horns are concerned.

It’s frowned upon for women to run with the bulls because it’s a “male” thing. OK, I guess. It’s not my place to judge another culture I know very little about even if the feminist in me longs to roll her eyes.

 The door where the bulls come out of

The door where the bulls come out of

 An actual part of the fence they use to keep the bulls on the path.

An actual part of the fence they use to keep the bulls on the path.

After that, it was time for dinner which means MORE PINTXOS!

 Potato and sausage

Potato and sausage

 

The first place we went to was small and crowded (there were 50 people in my tour group) and hot, so naturally I had a glass of sangria!

I downed that bad boy like it was going out of style. I’m so not a drinker, so I started to feel a little “loose.” Can’t have that, so I ate another pintxo at the next stop.

We ended up at another bar, where we chilled and talked for an hour, maybe more. It was good times. I remember that it was a Michelin-starred restaurant, which is a big deal in the hospitality industry, but I forgot to get the name or take any pictures while there. Oh well.

Like I said, because I’d been feeling loose, I ordered a Coke. Speaking of, my Spanish skills were starting to come in handy. I’m not fluent by any stretch, but I did take 6 years of Spanish throughout middle school, high school, and college. I SHOULD retain something, right?! I know how to say “Tiene Coke?” a very difficult question that means “Do you have Coke?”

Anyway, one of my tour mates wanted to buy me a shot because clearly a Coke was kinda sad, so I let him. If I ain’t paying for it, it’s all good! I got a shot of tequila and lived to tell the tale, so obviously my ability to hold my liquor was getting better. Obviously.

After hanging out, it was time to meet up with everyone in the tour group to go back to the hotel. On the way, we got interrupted by a “parade.” There were wearing red scarves tied around their necks and white shirts, so I think it was a bunch of tourists following the bull run route, but I could be talking out of my you-know-what.

I returned to the hotel to call it an early night. I was plum tuckered out.

Photo of the Day: It should probably be one of the panoramic views of San Sebastian, but this sign outside a monument in Pamplona makes me giggle. Not one or two, but three signs telling people who come to the Running of the Bulls not to climb to the top of the statue, jump off, and try to crowd surf because they won’t make it all the way down without hitting their heads and/or killing themselves. I cheated because I don't have one photo in which you can see both the sign and the monument.

 

Tomorrow- Day 5: Oh, the Mass of Humanity