And so we come to the topic of BULLFIGHTING. Bullfighting is said to be one of the oldest medieval sports still alive today that is highly celebrated by the Spanish. To be a BULL in Spain is culture at its epitome. Of course you might be thinking, “that’s a bunch of BULL”, but really the Bull is quite celebrated. You can’t complete a trip to Spain without seeing the famous bull signs on the sides of roads.
You will see BULL t-shirts, BULL stickers, Matador posters that you can add your name to for some Euros etc… I found out from Mark Goodwin, our tour guide that the BULL signs on the sides of roads in Spain originally came from liquor advertisements from the 1950’s. The OSBORNE BULL came to life from brandy liquor. Apparently sometime around the 90’s, there was some kind of law that was passed and the BULLS were to be taken off the roads of Spain. The Spanish people started protesting and argued that the BULL became part of their national identity, People looked forward to seeing the BULLS on the roads of Spain on their road trips. Some kids and families looked forward to counting the BULLS on their road trips. COUNT ME IN ON THAT! So for the fuss, the BULLS stayed and for that I am truly grateful!
Cool little bull statue close to Las Ramblas in Barcelona
A kiosk at the famous El Rastro market in Madrid close to La Latina. Covered in “bull”
Influence of Bullfighting
So, the question comes up with a lot of people “How do I feel about BULLFIGHTING?” As for me, I didn’t want to have anything to do with seeing a bull die in the ring. Lucky for me that this day, the BULLS were resting it up at some ranch or in some kind of an enclosure (or at least that’s what I like to think). The BULL has been quite glorified and romanticized. Ernest Hemingway was fascinated with BULLFIGHTING as he demonstrates in the book Death in the Afternoon. In the movie City Slickers 2, Billy Crystal and his buddies run with the Bulls of Pamplona as some kind of mid life crisis stunt. Also, I was introduced to the handsome Ordonez family after watching a fascinating special on 60 minutes in 2009. Here is the link, please look it over
The Ordonez family have literally DANCED with the bulls in happier times and have also DIED in the ring and faced tragedy. Cayetano and Francisco are known revered as national icons today in Spain. They both happen to be extremely handsome and people monitor their lives closely as they are available bachelors. Unfortunately, Cayetano and Francisco lost their father (known as Paquirri) to a horrible bullfighting tragedy. You would think that the two boys would have steered away from this dangerous sport, but instead they embraced it. Both men have said that the BULLFIGHTS course through their veins and that it is a family calling and tradition.