This morning Tashana and I caught a train out to Olite, a small town about a 30 minute ride east from Pamplona.  Originally our plans were to go see the castle there and maybe wander around a bit.  Typically, however, our plans did not go the way we expected them to.

  While we definitely saw the castle from the outside, we chose to save the actual going in for another day.  Why? You may ask.  Well as we were finishing up our coffees at a cafe about to head to the castle the lady working there stops us.  Luckily for me Tashana speaks Spanish because the lady was trying to warn us that in 30 minutes there would be cows running through these streets.  Yes, indeed for the second time in a row we have unintentionally wound up at an event in Spain.  This week is the Fiestas Patronales and involves cows running through the street and then men egging them on once they are trapped in the square.  I don’t know what it is with Spaniards and trying to put themselves in potentially harmful situations but they seem to enjoy it!  Since all this was going on, we felt we had to take part in the activities (though we stuck out like sore thumbs as we were the only ones not in red and white and also our ethnicities slightly stand out amongst all the Spanish…).  We spent the morning watching the cows and men duel it out in the square before taking a wander through the streets.

That street down there is where we had our coffee... glad we had time to get behind the gates in order to be spectators instead of accidental participants!
That street down there is where we had our coffee… glad we had time to get behind the gates in order to be spectators instead of accidental participants!
Yes, it's always a good idea to try to aggravate something with horns...
Yes, it’s always a good idea to try to aggravate something with horns…
It was shortly after this that one of the cows almost jumped over the fence! No worries though, it wasn’t the fences where we were but the ones into the streets which were maybe a foot lower.

A man we had been talking to (and by we, I mean Tashana since I’m useless) had informed us there would be paella and music at 2 so we came back to the square for then.  The people in Olite were extremely friendly.  I think they felt very proud to have people come to their festival (we chose to keep it to ourselves that it was unplanned).  Everyone seemed to be trying to help us, granted we were probably looking pretty confused.

There's the castle in the background
There’s the castle in the background, amidst the sea of red and white!

We got ourselves a spot and waited for the feast to begin (€8 for wine, water, paella, bread, and dessert!).

Paella feast!
Paella feast!

A creepy man kept bothering us but once again, Spanish people are awesome and the older couple on our left in combination with the group of people to our right got rid of him for us! Teamwork for the win!  The husband of the couple on our left actually spoke English which was nice to not have to just nod and pretend to understand all through the meal!  Which may I add was heavenly and with it came the live music and the dancing.  Oh how they do love to party here!  The music was fantastic – a super wide variety in a combination of English, Spanish and Italian!  It was a blast, though personally I liked the Spanish music best.  Just can’t help but dance!  The video below is just some clips of the music from the day if you want to view it.

It was totally an unexpected outcome to the day, nothing like we had originally planned for but it was a ton of fun!  Tashana and I both agreed that it topped anything that we had hoped the day would be.


We headed back after the meal though as the bull fighting was starting and that is just not my thing.  The train, however, did show up an hour late which was slightly unfortunate but nothing we couldn’t handle.  Plus I’m getting used to everything being a tad on the late side here!  Anyways after today, I’m extremely excited for San Fermin this summer with Vanessa!  And bonus, Tashana will be going to San Fermin as well!



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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Dad says:

    Lol. You wanted to go to the running of the bulls in the spring so this is the next best thing. Would’ve loved to have been there. Dinner looked fun. Love dad


  2. Jackie says:

    Buena noches!
    I am doing my very best to catch up on your adventure; appears I have unintentionally begun at the current and working my way back to the start. Your photos are amazing and I feel like I am traveling right along side:)
    Three things: the wine and food photos are making me both hungry and parched; is that a “cigarette” beside your lunch; and the best education is the travel:) Be safe, Love ya, Jackie


    1. michellegee says:

      Hey Jackie!

      I’m glad you are enjoying the blog. Yes it is a cigarette, apparently I’m too accustomed to Spain because I didn’t even notice the ashtray beside me while I ate my lunch until people started pointing it out on my blog! What can I say? I’m a space cadet!

      Love you too ^_^


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