Pamplona, Spain : Home Of The Running Of The Bulls (El Encierro)
Copyright © 2006,2009 by Zack Smith .
All rights reserved.
Plaza del Castillo webcamWhen the encierro or Running of the Bulls is happening, this will show an empty square :-) There is, as far as I know, no webcam of the encierro path itself.
AccommodationWhen planning to go to the Running of the Bulls, you must first realize that it is important to book in advance.
What many people do instead is just arrive in Pamplona by bus from Madrid or wherever and walk around, looking for a last-minute deal. I did this myself and ended up staying at three different places, all of which had really shitty beds with springs and mattresses circa 1960. They were like bad hammocks. Two of the places however were very central.
One also hears of young kids who try to sleep in the park and get robbed at night. The moment you fall asleep there, you're easy prey.
Of course, what everyone wants are the balcony apartments on the path of the run, so that one can watch the Running of the Bulls from above. These are said to be rented years in advance to the lucky few. Put yourself in the locals' shoes. If you happened to live in one of those apartments, would you want to hang out every year for the encierro and the parties, which you've seen ad nauseum? No. You find someone you can trust to not trash your place, and you rent it for a goodly sum the week of San Fermin while you vacation elsewhere.
Some guidebooks don't mention that there is a youth hostel, which fills up very early each year. Hostelz link.
VideoHere is some footage from: 2006 San Fermines
Risks of runningI personally would never run, at least not without body armor of some type, which as far as I know isn't permitted anyway. At any rate if you want to know what your personal risk factor is, just take this online test. My rating doesn't go below a 5.