More than a week after Sanfermines let me recount what I did that very last day.
I have woken up around 5am. My friend Patxi (the one I was with in Portugal as recounted in Grand Lisboa and Lovely Oporto) arrived that very early morning of 14 July. He was to stay with me that night as we will be in and around the city center for the last day’s festivities.
First on the list that day was to go to the last encierro where we stationed by the Callejon.
A double wooden fence is used in the Callejon as a demarcation line to separate the rest from the runners. The first fence is where journalists, the police and medical staff are stationed. The second fence is for the spectators but in order to get a good view from this second fence, one needs to be on top of it.
Since we were not early enough to secure a decent viewing spot, here’s what I was able to see from between the wooden fences.
It wasn’t much or rather there was almost nothing to see. You pick the accurate description.
By 2pm, we went to the Plaza Consistorial where they will have the Despedida de la Comparsa de Gigantes y Cabezudos, or farewell to the giants and bigheads – this last word is a literal translation; I don’t know the accurate translation.
A custom of the despedida is the kissing of the giants by the kids as a form of farewell.
The giants also perform a dance.
At 10pm we went to the exact spot, at the Plaza Consistorial and this time, the activity was the Toro de Fuego.
What I had in mind was a big statue of a toro that would be lit by fire. Sort of what they do in the Olympic torch.
But this toro is not stationary it all. It made its rounds by the narrow streets close to the plaza which made people run like crazy. At first I thought the little sparks of fire it spouts, the one you see in fireworks, do not actually burn. I had to experience a stray one landing by my head and singing my scalp to know it scalds.
At 11pm, we headed to the Ciudadela for the fireworks display.
The best I’ve seen to date! It was so enchanting watching display pyrotechnics.
After the twenty-minute show, we headed back to the city center for the singing of “Pobre de mi” as the conclusion of the week-long festivities.
People would sing the song while lighting candles.
Patxi knows the lyrics and was singing. It goes like this:
Pobre de mi, pobre de mi
que se han acabado las fiestas de San Fermín
It translates in English as:
Poor me, poor me
the festival of San Fermín has ended
And that concludes Sanfermines 2012. The last day was the most enjoyable one for me. What’s next on the Spanish people’s list? Take their two-week vacation for the Summer. Temperatures are expected to keep rising and is the perfect time to spend some time off for leisure.
I myself have planned a getaway. In fact I’m leaving tomorrow. Would it be still within Spain? That would be shared here soon!