Warning: Contains Pictures of Bull Fighting

Trip Start Aug 24, 2010
Trip End Dec 21, 2010

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Flag of Spain  , Andalusia,
Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hola todos!  Sorry it took me almost two weeks to get another post up!  The week after my last post nothing much happened, but since the following weekend everything has happened, so I haven't had the time to type it all up until now.  As always thanks for the comments... I love hearing from you guys!

Sat Sept 11- Tues Sept 14

I'm not going to bore you with all of the small details of what happened every single day, so here's a recap of all of the 'big' things.  Saturday I finally got a cell phone so I could get in touch with friends and meet up with people.  Sunday I did flight searching trying to see how much it is to go just about everywhere.  In the afternoon I had a cup of Darjeeling tea with Luis and Ana and we talked about Harry Potter and Twilight haha.  On Monday I officially got into the Conversation class (yay!).  Tuesday I finally went to my fifth class- Spanish Cinema (in spanish).  The teacher is young and speaks very clearly, so the class should be good.  Over the four days I did lots of skyping with just about everyone, but it's nice to stay in touch.

Wed Sep 15- Fri Sep 17

On Wednesday I couldn't understand anything in my civilization class.  I decided to drop it since I didn't want to be miserable about school my whole time here.  Instead I decided to switch to the English version of the class that's at the same time and has an awesome teacher.  I am much happier in this class (even though I will now have to take an extra class or two back at PC to finish off my major).  Sidra (from Mississippi) and I had lunch together again and we did some planning of what we wanted to do during the semester.  We've planned to go to Italy in October and France in November, as well as a lot of small trips on our weekends.  On Friday I met up with some friends in town and we went to the bus station to get tickets to Cádiz for the day on Saturday.  We walked around for a bit afterwards. 

Sat Sep 18

Today was the first day I traveled out of Seville since arriving here.  We took the 9 o´clock bus to Cádiz and were there by 10.30.  To begin with the beach wasn´t very busy, but that was because it was still early in the day.  By the afternoon it was full of people, including many topless women... Europe is a strange place (thankfully I only saw one guy in a speedo).  Cádiz is located on the left side of the Strait of Gibraltar, so therefore it is still considered the Atlantic Ocean, so no Mediterranean pictures yet.  We spent the first part of the day sunbathing and walking along  the shore and swimming in the ocean (there were two groups of us with 5 people each).  In the afternoon some of us walked into the downtown/historic area of Cádiz.  We passed by a Roman Theater and a cathedral, but both were closed since it was siesta time (siesta time is awesome except when you want to go somewhere).  We got a late lunch together which included the most delicious flan that I´ve ever had.  On the bus back to Sevilla Sidra and I met a Portuguese guy and a French guy who were studying at the University of Seville.  We somehow also meet Europeans, but no Spaniards :).  Overall it was a fun day and it was really nice to see another part of Spain.

Sun Sep 19

Most of my morning was dedicated to homework.  It wasn't until 5.30 that I got together with my friends.  We were going to visit the cathedral in Seville today, but it doesn't open until 2:30 and it turns out it closes at 6 and we didn't get there until 6.05, so we'll save it for another day.  We got some delicious marscapone icecream and walked around for a bit.  At 6.30 I met up with some other friends to go to a bull fight (since the first group had already seen one and didn't want to go again).  When you go to a bull fight the tickets are priced by if you are sitting in the sun or the shade... tickets in the shade are more expensive.  We got tickets that were in the sun, but the sun didn't last for very long since the fight starts at 7 in the evening.  Let's just say that bull fighting is a bizarre tradition.  I don't know how it started or became popular, or evolved into what it is today (but I will soon because I'm going to d a presentation on it in my conversation class... I'll let you know the results).  The matadors (in spanish they are called toreros... bull fighters not killers) were these ridiculous sparkly suits with bright pink socks.  They have a very strange posture when approaching the bulls as well. 
So this is how a bull fight works (and the structure never changes, ever).  1. 5/6 matadors with pink flags set up around the ring, with one in front of the gate on his knees.  2. Enter the bull.  Run the bull about for a bit with the pink flags.  3. Distract the bull and bring on the horse and rider with a spear.  The bull charges the horse (which is wearing protection, but I still think this is the worst part because the horse is blindfolded and never asked to be involved) and the horseman spears the bull.  4. Exit horse.  Begin the barbing of the bull.  I'm not sure what this part is actually called, but this is when they stick 6 barb/swords into the bull's back.  They stick in and don't come back out during the fight.  All of this weakens the bull for the final round. 5.  Exit all matadors except one that now has a smaller red flag.  He runs the bull about in increasingly tighter circles.  After doing this for a while he takes a sword and stabs the bull in the back.  6. Enter pink flag matadors again and wave flags in the bull's face until the bull gives up and lays down.  Take out the big sword.  If the bull is not yet dead they take a dagger and stab it in the back of the head to kill it completely.  7. Enter horses that drag the bull off. 
Each bull show has 6 bull fights, aka 6 bulls are killed.  It's a cruel and sad tradition.  It recently was banned in Barcelona (many people were mad about this, but the younger generations of Spaniards are more against this tradition).  In the six fights that I saw 2 bulls flipped themselves over (because they get their horns stuck in the ground when the charge then go head over heels) and only one matador got hurt (he lost his footing in the final part, but he didn't get gored since the bull was too weak).  I don't think I would ever go again, but I'm glad that I saw what it was really about since pictures of bull fights don't really show you the cruelty and torture that the bulls go through.

Okay I'm going to end the post here even though there is still Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to go.  Keep reading and commenting!  Thanks for getting this far already :)

hasta luego,
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Linda Leyland on

Hi Alice - looks as though you are still enjoying yourself. The beaches look amazing.
I'm glad you went to a bull fight - like you I've been to one and that is enough.
You seem to have a busy few months what with all the travelling to Italy and France - keep up the writing.

lacynoel on

Nice blog! I'm jealous of the beach time! I need to get to a beach sometime soon! The bull pics make me sad, though.

caroline parish on

I think I like the beach pics best but I am glad you were rooting for the bull. How often do they hold the bull fights as it seems a bit over the top to kill 6 in one evening. have fun this weekend. Love you

aliceparish on

the season lasts from april to october and i think it ranges1-2 fights/events per week and they are hosted throughout the country, but seville is one of the highest ranking bull plazas

Melanie on

wow i did not know they actually kill the bull. That is absolutely awful.

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