Crean's and the Guys' adventure travel blog

Seville was a large city that Brian and i had avoided in 2005, but today we chose to visit it and are we glad we did. Firstly- getting to a particular hostal turned into a circus- Daisy May like all Tom Toms took us directly to the centre of the city which just happens to be the third largest cathedral in the world, surrounded by walking styreets which we drove down, tram streets which a bicycle cop wouldn´t let us drive down, and very bnarrow streets which meant backing up to get out of! Eventually we gave up and headed for the bus station where you can always find pensions. After checking out about a dozen we finally took the only place available- hot airless rooms, bno aircon and no TV, but at least a bed. Just a few hundred metres along the road was Spains most famous bullring- Wayne had been checking out bullfight dates all over Spain and portugal and we had kept missing one, so he wasnt about to miss one if it was on. After mulling it over for 10 minutes outside he and i went in to see if there were tickets left- it was supposed to be a big night on saturday. 10 mins later we were the dubious owners of two tickets at 48E each in the shady side of the big event on Saturday night. Brian refuses to go on principle and Delwyn was NOT going to see a bullfight no matter what. A tour of the bullring was next and for 6 E we diiscovered a bit of the history behind bullfighting, and the famous matadors- the last of which was killed 30 years ago.

Dinner Friday night- we broke with tradition ourselves and ate Tikka Masala at an english pub- why not!!

Bullfight day dawned cooler (yesterday was 37 degrees) and cloudy (so much for paying extra for the shady side). We took an open top bus tour of this marvellous city- so elegant, beautiful parks and such old buildings carefully restored. I´ve never seen so many beautiful well dressed women in all my life, not to mention the men......!

By 5.30pm Wayne and i (in our best clothes) were lined up outside with 13000 spanish, and then entered the areana, finding our seats by trial and error. Right on time at 6pm the matadors, and their team were out in the ring, and seconds later out comes the first bull- black young and wired up. I might get the various names worng so bear with me. The picadores tease the bull with bright pink capes and provide a good show, then three of them take turns to stand in front of the bull with two ¨sticks¨and they tempt him to rush them. Stepping very neatly aise they plant the two sticks into the poor bulls´back. Next comes the wellpadded horse and the bull is provoked into charging the (blindfolded) horse where unsortunately the rider jabs the bulls back with a spear. Then everyone leaves the ring except the matador who changes his cape for a red one and proceeds to get the bull to charge again and again. After you watch a few (there were 6 bulls in total) you can see the amount of skill that is required to become a matador.

Each bout takes about 20-30 minutes , getting shorter as the evening draws on. Finally the best matador- El Cid- comes on for the last fight. The crowd go from wild to whispering as he temps the bull to charge. Its all very theatrical, although one matador did get tossed by the bull. When the coup de grace time comes the matador makes it quick and the bull dies quickly. We came out at the end with mixed emotions- impressed with the spectacle, but sad that 6 fine animals died. In past times the meat was given to the poor but now it goes to the abbatoir- I guess bullfighting is an expensive business.

we met up with Brian and Delwyn at a restaurant and discovered that they had gone on a walking tour of the old part of the city, mostly the old jewish quarters that surround the cathedral- they said it was a great walk and they learned a lot of the history of the city.

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