Travel

A trip highlight

By on September 26, 2016

Walking through Seville with Carlos, our guide, he noticed a poster that said the bullfights were on tonight. It was our lucky day as the bullfights are only once/month. And the bullfights in Seville is the primo place to attend the fights.

Carlos also took some time to explain how the fights are a part of Spanish culture. Also how every piece of meat from the bull is eaten after a bullfight and it is very expensive. (You can eat a bull penis)?

Tom and I knew this might be difficult to watch but we really thought this would be a great way to experience some Spanish culture.

First of all, we showed up to the bullring and it was PACKED. Packed like the outside of the new Rogers stadium in Edmonton except we didn’t have tickets and didn’t speak the language and had no idea where to go/what to do.

Does this look like a lot of people?  It was crushing.

Does this look like a lot of people? It was crushing.

Luckily, a scalper took full advantage of our disabilities and spoke enough English to rip us off for a couple of tickets. Turns out it was sold out and he sold us tickets in the shade so it wasn’t THAT much of a rip off. The tickets in the sun are much cheaper. It’s also important to note it was +36 yesterday and not a cloud in the sky or a lick of wind.

On our way to our seats we passed a bar selling the most refreshing looking gin and tonics. For 9 euros, they better be. And they were. I think that’s when we noticed we were sorely underdressed for the affair. Men were wearing sport coats and long sleeve shirts and pants. Ladies were wearing dresses and heels and makeup. We were wearing the same clothes we travelled in all day. Wrinkly t shirts and shorts and flip flops.

Fully embracing our wrinkled t shirts and shorts and messy hair in a sea of heels and sport jackets

Fully embracing our wrinkled t shirts and shorts and messy hair in a sea of heels and sport jackets

We got to our seats and were immediately overwhelmed with the feeling in the ring and stadium. The air was alive with anticipation of what was to come. A band was playing in one corner.

A bullfight is actually 6 bullfights. Each one lasts about 15 minutes. They had three main toreadors and they each fight 2 bulls. We only stayed for 5 of the fights wanting to avoid the crushing crowd at the end.

Can you feel the rage in this bull?

Can you feel the rage in this bull?

A trumpet sounded and out came the first bull. He was so alive and mighty and strong. It was the perfect contrast to the toreadors that are there to tire him out with the pink curtains. They are dressed to the nines with rhinestones and funny hats and really quite flamboyant.

Missed again sucker!

Missed again sucker!

After about 5 minutes, the trumpet sounds again and the picadors come out on horses. These are the guys who give the first shot to the bull. The horses are completely blindfolded and also covered in heavy blankets. This is because when the Bulls catch sight of the horse, they come full at the horse with their horns out. They actually lifted the horse off the ground. While the bull is attempting to take down the horse, the rider has a spear of some sort and is stabbing the bull with it. This goes on for about 5 minutes

The guys on their blindfolded horses covered in blankets. I wonder if the horse ever figures out what the hell is happening.

The guys on their blindfolded horses covered in blankets. I wonder if the horse ever figures out what the hell is happening.

The bull thinks he's giving it to the horse. But really the man is giving it to the bull and the horse is all "what now?"

The bull thinks he’s giving it to the horse. But really the man is giving it to the bull and the horse is all “what now?”

Then some other guys come out to stick the bull with some sort of flamboyant looking pins. This serves to make the bull bleed some more as well.

Finally the big cheese comes out with his needle sword and red curtain. He is almost dancing with the the bull. He does this for a few minutes then takes his needle sword and jams it perfectly between the shoulders and through his heart(if all goes well). If the sword is in all the way, the bull will soon drop. Another guy comes over and jams a knife in his brain and finishes it.

The crowd is really into it. There are non stop shhhhhh going around the arena. They cheer the bull and the cheer the toreadors. They boo if one of the jabs is not very good. They don’t want the bull to suffer and if the stabs are good, the bull will not feel it very much. (Apparently)

The first fight we watched was shocking. The reality of watching the animal die right before your eyes. And how unfair of a fight it was. This was the first time Tom saw something die like that.

This is the bull sleeping as he is pulled out of the ring by the donkeys. Night night bull.

This is the bull sleeping as he is pulled out of the ring by the donkeys. Night night bull.

This bullfight was the highlight of our trip so far. It was an immersion into the Spanish culture and traditions. It’s most likely something we will never do again, but we are grateful for the experience.

TAG
6 Comments
  1. Reply

    Annette

    September 26, 2016

    Intense! I’m scandalized but sounds like you guys made the most of it! What an experience!

  2. Reply

    Donna

    September 26, 2016

    I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read your blow by blow account. A pretty impressive event if it’s the highlight of your trip so far.

  3. Reply

    Mom

    September 26, 2016

    Oh my! It certainly sounds like the bulls do not have a chance. Interesting that a show like that is so popular and that people dress up for it.

  4. Reply

    Aunty Sheryl

    September 26, 2016

    What an experience is right! Great job describing this barbaric ritual (in my ?) which I’m sure to the locals is something they are very proud of. I’m so glad that your getting the opportunity to participate in as much of the culture of all these countries your visiting Kerri and then sharing it with us – that’s what an adventure like this is all about. Even though we may not agree with their customs ???? it is a custom that is rich in history and you can now say – been there/done that/probably won’t do it again ?

  5. Reply

    Karen Olson

    September 27, 2016

    Great play by play and now I know that I will never attend a bull fight!

    • Reply

      Kerri

      September 27, 2016

      You would have really enjoyed the gin and tonics.

LEAVE A COMMENT

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.