You live in Europe, you have to see the running of the bulls. There was no chance in hell I would actually run with them, but we did go to see what the commotion was all about and learned a lot about how to do it right. We landed in Madrid then took the train down. Pro tip: Use the Renfe train, it's so much cheaper and runs much more often than the national train system. We did have a while before the train so I went for a nice run and saw the sights around Madrid.
The first thing to do when you arrive is to buy the gear. Really, don't pack clothes other than what you travel in. Buy some red and white gear and only wear that, to avoid the weird looks.
We were up bright and early to arrive at the apartment we were going to be viewing from, you have to be there before they close the streets, so around 0600. They were such awesome hosts, made us an authentic breakfast for us. It was delicious.
The street went from empty.
To a few people.
To teeming with people and bulls.
Hemingway and sangria.
At the bull fight.
Brutal but I respected the tradition.
The second day our balcony was not nearly as accommodating, but the view was arguably better. Right at "dead man's curve".
We also learned that there's an easier and cheaper way to do Pamplona. Bring a sleeping bag and sleep in the park... or bring your donkey, whatever.