The first weekend in Barcelona, Dirk, my brother, and I went to a real Spanish, Corrida de Toros, bullfight with my (now ex-) roommate, a French girl and her (now ex-) boyfriend. And it was shocking!!
Sophie, my ex-roommate, grew up with bullfights, apparently that’s a tradition in the south of France as well, and she knew a lot to tell about it, which was good because I had no idea what they were doing! I had this image that one very brave (or crazy) man would have an one on one fight with the bull, but actually there were about 8 men in the arena torturing the bull! First when the bull is still very energetic there are two “Picadors” coming in the arena, that are horseman (of course they are high and safe on the poor horses) whose job is to weaken the bull by spearing it! Then there are several “Toreadors” – bullfighters who are basically there to exhaust and distract the bull after the “Banderilloros” insert the Banderillas (the special sharp stick) in the bull’s neck. After that, when the bull is weak and bleeding very badly the “Faena” (art of bullfighting) can begin, with one man and his red cape teasing the bull, this man is the “Matador” the leading toreador whose in charge of the killing the bull by sword. This spectacle is about 15-25 minutes, after the killing, the arena is cleaned, and a new bull is brought in!
It was amazing to see how much blood there was coming out of the bull and how people were encouraging the Toreadors! The only moment that Dirk and I were cheering was when one guy got seriously hit by the bull and had to leave the arena! But I have to admit that after 3 or 4 bulls you’re getting used to the blood, and can see the “art of bullfighting”.
After the fight the Matador made a round of honour, and the crowd went mad!! Everybody throwing flowers and screaming. Also people were waving with white a tissue, which apparently means that the fight was very exciting and good!
Anyway, I can everybody recommend to just to go and experience this real Spanish spectacle, even though I probably won’t be going again!