Daily Escape

bridge, saint paul crossing, huecar ravine, hanging houses, museum, cuenca, spain

Photo by Ken Welsh / Perpectives/ Getty Images

The Hanging Houses of Cuenca

Cuenca, Spain

Delighting spectators for centuries, the Hanging Houses of Cuenca are the last of their kind, hanging precariously over the cliffs of a gorge. Once a common sight along the eastern side of the city, today the homes have dwindled down to just a remaining few. The most photographed house is now the site of the Museo de Arte Abstracto Espanol. Visitors are welcome to tour the house, which dates back to the 1400s, and unflinching guests can even dare to step out on the overhanging balcony.


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Matadors Prepare to Fight
Matadors Prepare to Fight

Matadors Prepare to Fight

Each morning, 6 bulls run through the streets of Pamplona from their corral to the bullring, where, later in the afternoon, a bullfight completes the ritual. 960 1280

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San Fermin's Chupinazo

San Fermin's Chupinazo

Revelers are sprayed with water as they celebrate during the "Chupinazo," which marks the start of the San Fermin Festival in front of Pamplona's town hall with the launch of a firecracker. Tens of thousands of people pack the streets for the kick-off to Spain's most well-known fiesta. 960 1280

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Parade of Gigantes y Cabezudos

Parade of Gigantes y Cabezudos

Each morning is celebrated with the parade of "gigantes y cabezudos" or "giants and big heads." The huge figures are more than 150 years old and roughly 13 feet tall. 960 1280

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Running of the Bulls on Santo Domingo Street

Running of the Bulls on Santo Domingo Street

Runners sprint alongside bulls on Santo Domingo Street, rounding the infamous "Dead Man's Corner," named for its slippery, sharp turn. 960 1280

Reuters  

A San Fermin Bullfight

A San Fermin Bullfight

The picador, on horseback, helps the matadors during the first stage of the bullfight. He uses a lance to prod the bull, causing the animal to straighten its charge toward the matador and lower its head to prepare it for the next stage of the fight. Multiple bullfights are performed throughout the days of the festival. 960 1280

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The Pena Voladora Parade

The Pena Voladora Parade

On the first day of the festival, the Pena Voladora parade makes its way along Estafeta Street in Pamplona, Spain. 960 1280

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Woodchoppers Compete in the Aizkolaritza

Woodchoppers Compete in the Aizkolaritza

Woodchoppers carve tree trunks in the Aizkolaritza, a Basque wood-chopping competition that's just one of the many events during the San Fermin Festival. 960 1280

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Revelers in the Streets of Pamplona

Revelers in the Streets of Pamplona

Festivalgoers hold up their red handkerchiefs, known as pañuelos, during opening day. 960 1280

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Runners on Estafeta Street

Runners on Estafeta Street

A fighting bull collides with runners along Estafeta Street during the San Fermin Festival. 960 1280

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Fireworks over Pamplona

Fireworks over Pamplona

Fireworks mark the end of the festival's first day, before participants rest up for another day of running for their lives through the northern Spanish streets. 960 1280

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Toro del Fuego

Toro del Fuego

A Toro del Fuego, or flaming bull, is run through the streets of Pamplona on the second day of the San Fermin Running of the Bulls, with kids and adults alike dodging the flying sparks. 960 1280

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San Fermin  11 Photos

This small town near Valencia hosts the "World's Biggest Food Fight" every year when thousands of visitors and locals descend upon the city to throw tomatoes at each other. 960 1280

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In 2015, it was estimated that nearly 160 tons of tomatoes were used in the "fight." 960 1280

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The event became so successful and popular that in 2013, the city introduced an entrance fee and limited the number of participants to 20,000, due to safety concerns. 960 1280

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The weeklong festival kicks off on the last Wednesday in August, and includes music, parades, dancing, fireworks and food (other than tomatoes). 960 1280

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No one knows why Tomatina started, but one popular theory dates its origins back to a parade in 1944 or 1945 in which young men started a brawl and armed themselves with tomatoes from a nearby vegetable stand. 960 1280

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Banned by Spanish dictator Francisco Franco for lacking religious significance, the festival returned in the 1970s, and is held in honor of the town's patron saints, Luis Bertran and the Mare de Deu dels Desemparats (Mother of God of the Defenseless), a title of the Virgin Mary. 960 1280

flydime, wikimedia commons  

Around 11 a.m., the first event begins in the center of town, Plaza del Pueblo, where trucks have hauled in over 100,000 tomatoes. 960 1280

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Officially, the fight begins after a climber knocks off a ham from the top of a two-story high greased wooden pole. Although, the festivities will start whether or not the climber reaches the prized ham. 960 1280

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Shopkeepers use huge plastic covers on their storefronts in hopes of protecting them from the festival’s tomato-splashed aftermath. 960 1280

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Tomatina lasts for exactly one hour, signaled by the firing of water cannons. Fire trucks then spray down the streets to flush away the tomato residue. 960 1280

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