December 26, 2009

Matadors in Ronda, Spain and Plaza de Toros

Driving the road to Ronda in Southern Spain can be treacherous. However if you survive, you are rewarded by a beautiful white washed hill town. Try visiting in November like we did, and you will have fewer cars to battle with on the narrow roads.

Once you arrive, you must visit the Plaza de Toros! This famous bull ring is one of the oldest operation bull rings and is the home to modern bullfighting and worth seeing.

Read through the brochures they give you, and with the additional information posted with the displays, you will definitely get the sense of rivalry between the style out of Ronda and the style of bull fighting in Sevilla. The matadores from Ronda give you the impression that they are all about skill and precision with weapons, while their colleagues in Sevilla are all about flash and dancing around. I’m just saying that is what I picked up from the English translated signage.

We bought tickets which included access to the museum and that made it for me. Besides the detailed history of the sport, the exhibits included stunning displays of the riding gear for both the horses and fighters.

We got to walk freely through the bull ring as well, and experience the thrill of racing for cover behind the false wall, as if a bull was chasing us! Ole! I can’t say I would pay to watch a bull fight, as I do feel for the animals, but after going through this arena and museum, I have a better understanding for those who do.

Random Fact: In 1994, US singer Madonna shot her music video, Take A Bow, in the bull fight arena.

We walked all around, from the entrance to the back stables with its equine residents. It is unique to be able to get such close up access to a working bull ring. It wasn’t difficult to imagine attending a bull fight here, though we read that most still travel to Sevilla these days.

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