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Locking horns with Spain

My Travel Writing Scholarship 2011 entry - My Big Adventure

WORLDWIDE | Friday, 18 March 2011 | Views [125] | Scholarship Entry

Arriving in Barcelona was a rush of excitement, it was certainly going to be a challenging experience as I discovered on the train ride from Paris; attempting to order an orange juice in Spanish and receiving a milkshake, but I felt ready to be absorbed into this crazy culture! And what better way but to attend Barcelona’s screening of the FIFA 2010 World Cup final between Spain and Holland! I and 100 thousand others made their way to the Magic Fountain (which has an amazing sound, light and water show on display every Thursday through Sunday evening) to watch Spain thrash Holland on the big screen. The atmosphere was indescribable; it’s a feeling like ecstasy! I was cheering for Spain to win and with every attempt at goal the crowd roared in unison! Upon Spain’s victory the streets were in hysteria it was a sea of people yelling, chanting, and dancing. I’d never seen anything so amazing before! The roads were awash with people and the subway ride back to my hostel took three hours because of the congestion.
This is only half of my amazing journey through Spain, the next night I took a bus from Barcelona to Pamplona for the San Fermin festival. The bus ride alone was a culture shock, it was practically a party bus; people were drinking wine, singing, dancing and anything else that took their fancy! I have to say, it was certainly the most amusing bus ride of my life. I arrived in Pamplona at 4am, dazed, sleep deprived and hyperactive from my escapades on the bus ride over. Where I was surprised to see that Pamplona was bustling! At 4am in the morning there were people everywhere celebrating. As I discovered San Fermin is a week-long festival where people party all day, party all night! At the beginning of each day during the festival was the famous event known as the running of the bulls; this is where my trip took a sharp left turn! The run actually occurs in a narrow cobblestone street with thousands of people jammed into this confined space with very angry bulls locked in a small stable only a few meters away! The bulls were aggravated by their keepers and then released from their stable at which point we all run for our lives while these bulls charged ferociously towards us! For us lucky runners who survived the narrow streets, we found ourselves enclosed in a small arena where 6 bulls were released and we had to dodge them madly! It is at this point where I had the ingenious idea of trying to touch one of the bulls, BIG MISTAKE! It turned around looked at me, and started charging towards me, I tried in vain to get out of its way but it was all too late for me. The bull bucked me into the air and dragged me around the arena in front of thousands! The bruises all over my body lasted for weeks. After the bulls were returned to their stables people approached me and congratulated me on my run in with the bull, I was involved in many group photos! This is just a glimpse of my big adventure.

Tags: #2011writing, travel writing scholarship 2011

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