Monday, July 7, 2014

Pamplona (and Other Places)

If you run a gondola operation, and have other gondoliers working for you,
then watch out in the coming week. 
If you notice that some of your staff happen to be planning some travel to Spain, and they've taken red sashes and scarves with them,
your gondoliers may be heading to Pamplona to run with the bulls.

photo courtesy of Dan Devine

If this happens, it won't be the first time.
I've known several gondoliers who've traveled to Pamplona to partake in this crazy event - risking death, injury, or at the very least, international embarrasment as they are seen screaming like five-year-olds and running from angry bulls on worldwide television.

Gondoliers, as I have said many times before, are travel-junkies.
We love to explore, and a high-adrenaline event like the running of the bulls is a perfect fit for a lot of us.  In fact if I didn't have a wife and kids,
I'm sure I'd be heading out there right now.

The uniform isn't that far off:
most of us American gondoliers already wear red sashes and scarves.
White pants, thanks to the US Gondola Nationals, are already hanging in the closets of most gondoliers.
And who doesn't own a white t-shirt to swap out for the stripes?
Voila! The outfit is complete and you're ready to literally run for your life.

This spectacle of running bulls through city streets with people running ahead of them, risking death or injury for the thrill of it, is not exclusive to Pamplona, Spain.  Over the years I've heard of similar bull runs in Mexico and South America, as well as a few other countries in the southern part of Europe.

Last year someone announced that they would be bringing the thrill of bull-running to the United States. Here's an article in Travel and Leisure on them.
That company is known as the Great Bull Run - seems like they're following in some of the footsteps of Red Bull's Flugtag. This year's calendar includes events in six different locations - there's one in Southern California in November.

We Americans are always inventive.  In case you've always wanted to do this, but aren't sure about the whole getting-killed-by-a-bull thing, you can "roll with the bulls".
Next week in Hampton, Virginia you can live the dream of a bull run...with the 1,500 pound angry bovine replaced by roller derby girls!  The derby girls may be just as dangerous, but are sure to be a lot more attractive.
Check out the Hampton Block Party.

If you do choose to go bull-running, please send me a photo
(preferrably with a derby girl).

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