Intl. Notebook Jul 9 2010
What do you have to do to get a good view around here?
Those are our friends Jonael Esteban (in blue) and David Barbarin, finally settling on a vantage point from which to watch the encierro. This was after we all walked around for perhaps an hour hoping to find an unobstructed vantage point, and finally coming to the sad conclusion that the tree was the best option. With more than a million tourists turning up at the Festival of San Fermin every year, space is at a premium. So let this be a lesson—in order to see this spectacle you need to get to the route by 6 a.m. at the latest. And then you need to perch atop a fence post for two hours. Don’t forget some snacks, but forgo the liquids unless you want to risk abandoning your spot for a bathroom break. There is one other solution: for around thirty euros you can rent a balcony. If that seems like a lot of money to see a bunch of bulls pass by in less than ten seconds, it is, but at least breakfast is included. Anyway, a few of David’s treetop shots are below.
And these next photos are ones your humble authors took from ground level. We aren’t trying to turn Pulp Intl. into a travel site, so this is the last you’ll see of San Fermin (probably). But as we said in our very first post, sometimes an event can be pulp, and if ever one fit the bill, this is it. As a side note, we should mention that these Basques here in northern Spain, and the Spaniards in general, party with incredible abandon. They absolutely trash the town and then simply clean it up and do it all again the next night. Here’s an update on today’s run and gorings. Yesterday, three of the matadors who faced bulls in the Pamplona plaza de toros were hurt. One was gored on the ear, another on the hand, and a third dislocated a shoulder. We had been under the impression that when a bull beat a matador, the animal was sent back to the stables intact. Not true—at least not here. Substitute matadors were brought in, and all the bulls eventually were killed. Back with your regularly scheduled website Monday.     


History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
March 22
1963—Profumo Denies Affair
In England, the Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, denies any impropriety with showgirl Christine Keeler and threatens to sue anyone repeating the allegations. The accusations involve not just infidelity, but the possibility acquaintances of Keeler might be trying to ply Profumo for nuclear secrets. In June, Profumo finally resigns from the government after confessing his sexual involvement with Keeler and admitting he lied to parliament.
1978—Karl Wallenda Falls to His Death
World famous German daredevil and high-wire walker Karl Wallenda, founder of the acrobatic troupe The Flying Wallendas, falls to his death attempting to walk on a cable strung between the two towers of the Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Wallenda is seventy-three years old at the time, but it is a 30 mph wind, rather than age, that is generally blamed for sending him from the wire.
2006—Swedish Spy Stig Wennerstrom Dies
Swedish air force colonel Stig Wennerström, who had been convicted in the 1970s of passing Swedish, U.S. and NATO secrets to the Soviet Union over the course of fifteen years, dies in an old age home at the age of ninety-nine. The Wennerström affair, as some called it, was at the time one of the biggest scandals of the Cold War.
March 21
1963—Alcatraz Closes
The federal penitentiary located on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay closes. The island had been home to a lighthouse, a military fortification, and a military prison over the years. In 1972, it would become a national recreation area open to tourists, and it would receive national landmark designations in 1976 and 1986.
March 20
1916—Einstein Publishes General Relativity
German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein publishes his general theory of relativity. Among the effects of the theory are phenomena such as the curvature of space-time, the bending of rays of light in gravitational fields, faster than light universe expansion, and the warping of space time around a rotating body.
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