Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A real Spanish Bullfight!!!


So the past couple of weeks, Eric had some leave days (days off) that he had to take or he would lose them, so we have been going and having fun.  One day, we dropped the kids off in the morning and went and rented sea kayaks and kayaked out to an island that has a castle on it and around some marshlands--we had a blast--laid out on the beach--it was SOOOOO relaxing!!!  Last week, we left the kids at home again and went to see a REAL Spanish bullfight!!!  While in Spain, you have to see a bullfight--it is a cultural tradition!!!  We are fortunate in that there is a bullring so close to us--it is about 10 minutes away.  

Anyways, I have to say, that while I do feel bad for the poor bulls, the bullfight was fascinating--it was much more involved than what I thought it would be.  When I thought of a bullfight, I just thought of the guy waving the red cape around.  Also, the pagentry, showmanship and machoism was fascinating.  The bullfight we went to had 3 different matadors and they each fought 2 bulls (so 6 bulls total).  One of the matadors was amazing and the other two were okay.

 So a bullfight is basically 3 distinct parts--the picadores, banderillas, and then the matador.  The participants first start off the night by entering the ring and saluting the judges--basically a parade.

The  matadors and banderillos (the matadors helpers)

Before each bull comes out, this guy comes out with this board that tells about the bull-name and how big he is.

So the first part of the bullfight is the picadores.  What happens is the bull comes out and the matador and banderillos kind of play with the bull--the bull runs around the ring and the matador gets a feel for what the bull is like.  After a couple of minutes two  picadores come out.  These are guys that are on padded, blindfolded horses that have lances.  The bull attacks the horse and is stabbed in the neck muscle.  This is the bull's first blood loss and weakens the bull.  Some of the bulls were very aggressive and would try and use their necks to lift up the horses.

The horse is padded and blindfolded

The second part of the bullfight is when three banderillos each stab the bull with two spiked sticks, in the bull's shoulders, that are covered in colorful paper.  This further weakens the bull.  This part I think was the most dangerous.  Basically the banderillo runs at the bull and stabs him with the sticks and then runs away--most of the time jumping over the fence of the bullring because the bull is chasing him.
Those things sticking out of the bull are the spiked sticks and by the time the bull is killed they are COVERED with blood.

Here is the banderillo showing his sticks

Now the bull charges him

He jumps...

Stabs the bull...

I don't have a picture but this is when he starts running towards the wall to get away from one angry bull!!

Now the third part is when the matador comes out and basically finishes off the bull.  He comes into the ring alone with his cape and his sword.  The matador demonstrates his dominance over the bull by getting very close to the bull as it passes by.  The one guy that we watched that was really good would come out and kick his shoes off and do it all in his socks--it was crazy.  Here are some pictures demonstrating how close the bull gets.

This was amazing to me--the guy is kneeling down and if the bull moves hardly at all he would be dead.  These matador guys have some serious nerves of steel.

Look at his feet--he has kicked off his shoes at this point.

Again, can't believe how close the bull is!

The matador and how he posed and walked was so interesting--they are very manly and proud.

Multiple times he gets close enough to touch the bull.
So after the bull is tired out and lost tons of blood, then the matador finishes him off with his sword.

They stab the bull through the shoulder blades into the aorta or heart and usually the bull dies within a couple of minutes.

So here is the bull after it dies.
After the bull is on the ground another guy comes out and uses a dagger to severe the spinal cord.
After the bull is dead it is dragged out of the ring by these horses that have bells on them
So if a matador does a really good job, then the crowd waves its' white handkerchiefs and the judge can award the matador with one ear, two ears or a tail.  One of the matadors we watched was awarded two ears because he was so good.  So after the bull was dead, a guy went over and cut off the bulls ears and then gave them to the matador.
Here is the matador with the two ears in his hands walking around the ring taking his celebratory lap.  I thought it was kind of gross to be holding two bloody bull ears, but it's tradition!
Congratulatory hug!
 Overall, we had a great night.  I am glad that I went to a bullfight just to see what it was all about and like I said, I feel bad for the bull, but bullfighting is such an interesting tradition and now I can cross it off my bucket list!!

Kailey's 5th birthday!!

Kailey turned 5 on July 6th--FINALLY!!  She had only spent the last 6 months asking when her birthday was and telling me what she wanted to do on her birthday!!  Since it was a holiday weekend for 4th of July, we celebrated ALL weekend!!  The day before her birthday we went to a little town close by called Vejer--it is a pueblo blanco--white-washed village.  It is really cute and charming and has the BEST moroccan restaurant.  We had fun wandering around.

Fun fountain in the middle of town

The next night for Kailey's birthday we had our good friends, the Blonski's came over for her dinner--she wanted pizza and dirt cake for her birthday, so that is what we had.  She had so much fun opening presents and made out with some good loot!!!  One of the most fun presents is she got "Just Dance -Disney" for the wii.  We had a lot of fun dancing--surprisingly, Ethan is really good and Eric even got in on the action!
Ethan and Cade bought Kailey a bracelet when we were in Vejer.

Just Dance

Keri, Liam and Aydin checking out 'Just Dance."

Fancy Nancy!!

Kailey's dirt cake with chocolate butterflies on top!!

I saw the butterfly idea on pinterest and thought they turned out pretty cute!

Playing Just dance

Eric showing off his moves!!