My Weekend

By Kent Truckor – Guest blogger studying in Valencia, Spain
This past weekend was a really good weekend. Friday night I went out with Anna and Nicola to the Barrio de Carmen. It is a district towards the center of town with many bars, restaurants and so forth. We went to a bar called Johnny Maraccas. It was a bonito bar decorated in the style of a Jungle. It had an aquarium in the wall and in the bar, I was pretty happy with this. They played salsa music and so forth. It was Anna's last night in town before she returned to Canada and school.
I met a couple at Johnny Maraccas from London, England. They were pretty young and excited to find other people who spoke English. Some other cities are different such as Barcelona and Madrid with English speaking people. However, in Valencia you don't find many people who speak English, actually not many at all. I can't imagine that it would be difficult for them to get around because they did not speak any Spanish therefore I doubt they will forget this trip. We spoke of the differences between America and England. I enjoyed their company and hope they enjoy their stay in Valencia.
The next night: Nicola, myself and three other friends headed for a small pueblo named El Puig north of Valencia about twenty minutes for their annual summer festival of the running of the bulls. The town is small and pretty but kind of dirty in some parts. I like the older buildings and the small streets. When we arrived there by tren, the city was very quiet. I think most people were either resting or eating when we arrived at 10:00PM. I loved it; many families set up dinner tables out in the street outside of their homes and ate dinner outside before the running of the bulls began.
This was my first experience of the running of the bulls having not made Pamplona in July. The first bull was released at Midnight with about 200 people fleeing for their lives, haha. I watched it from the top of a large barrier with a senor of the town named Miguel. He was a very friendly guy and we talked about family, friends, work, the running of the bulls and so on. I would say he was in his 70s and I asked him if he was going to run with the bulls and he told me "No, it was for the young." haha – I appreciated his conversation and learned a little more about the culture of Spain.
They would place two holsters on the bull's horns with flammable balls. They would light the balls on fire and then release the bull to run through the streets. Once the flames burnt out, they would get the next bull ready and repeat the process. They ran three bulls and it lasted until 4:00 AM. None of the bulls got hurt, maybe just a little tired. It was pretty wild to see in the dark streets to flames running down the street because the bulls were black. I liked it a lot and was able to take a moment to soak it in and realize just how different this is from my home. It was a good night and a great weekend.

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