I went to the bull rings & the bull ring museum in Spanish cities; however, I just could not go see a bull fight. Allan did see a bull fight.
Bullfighting has certainly been a popular sport in Spain for thousands of years. Recently, the people in Spain are not as interested in the sport. Once it was considered a contest of art & great skill, but that is no longer an opinion of the majority. Others, and me included, feel that it is a cruel sport because it involves killing the bull.
In Spain, bullfighting is called corridas or "corrida de toros", which means "running, or fiesta of the bulls".
It looks to me that part of the flair of bullfighting comes from the clothing. The matador costume is called traje de luces or "suit of lights". I was "floored" to find out that these costumes can cost as much as $10,000.
Bullrings are all over Spain. We saw the ones in Seville, Madrid, and Ronda. In the Ronda Bullfighting Museum, we learned that the origins of the corrida de toros are traced back to the Bronze Age in Crete! At one time, seeing young boys test their worth by throwing themselves onto the horns of pasturing bulls was outlawed, but it was restored again by the Moors during their occupation.
Bullfighting is most popular among older people; some of the younger people think the bull suffers a slow, painful death, only for the viewers' entertainment. Animal protection groups are trying to have it banned in Spain, Mexico, Portugal, & Peru.
Allan says that the bullfight is complex: it begins with a parade & ceremony. The matador is the focal point. He has assistants called banderilleros [on foot] and picadores[on horseback]. The bull is taunted with capes and long sticks. The finale involves the matador doing intricate maneuvers with cape and sword. The matador aims for the spot between the bull's shoulders, plunging his sword in. (ugh)
Equipment: The crowd cheers "Ole! and throws flowers into the ring. But, unless the matador fights well and with dignity, there will be no cheers. One thing is for sure: many matadors are wealthy celebrities in Spain
It would seem that the "equipment" you need is your enthusiasm.
Everyone knows that Soccer is "king of sports" in Spain. It has a long history in this country, being first played in 1873. It was the English and Scottish workers in the Spanish mines that first introduced this new game that they called "football".
Spain has qualified for nine World Cup Finals at least. It's the leading spectator sport in Spain. Most games for the Spanish League are played on Sundays from September to May. Two of the most famous teams are Read Madrid and FC Barcelona. The towns have enormous stadiums and more than 100,000 fans turn out to watch their team play. Yes, the Spanish are passionate about their Soccer teams.
Jai Alai is a ball game invented in Basque; it is one of the fastest games in the world. In the rallies between players, the ball may travel at a speed of 150 miles (241 km) per hour. It's a type of handball played on a large court. Opposing individuals or teams alternately bounce a small, hard ball against one, two, or three walls and catch it upon its return. The court is called fronton [it's a rectangle with solid walls on 3 sides and a wire screen on the 4th side. The ball is caught and thrown with a glove-shaped wicker basket that is strapped to the player's wrist.
Bullfighting is a Spanish tradition. More and more Spaniards are opposing bullfighting on the grounds of its cruelty; however, it remains second only to soccer as Spain's most popular pastime.
Fans applaud not only the bravery of the bullfighters but the artistry as well. It's the ultimate test of a person's intelligence and will against the formidable strength of the bull. We found that most Spanish cities have at least 1 bullring. Madrid and Seville are considered the top venues.
Golf has become increasingly popular in Spain and can be played throughout the year. If you are interested in golf, there are several golf vacation packages available at reasonable rates.
If you are staying in Madrid for more than 2-3 days and like making some exercise, running and so, the Retiro Park is a good place to do so. Is big enough to get lost inside and forget about the traffic and noises and is full of trees and quiet paths to run around.
Soccer is the national sport here in Spain. The most popular and a common conversation topic in bars and offices.
The main teams are:
- Real Madrid (Madrid)
- FC Barcelona (Barcelona)
- Valencia CF (Valencia)
- Athletic de Bilbao (Bilbao)
- Atletico de Madrid (Madrid)
- Betis (Sevilla)
Of all these the Real Madrid is the most well known abroad and many tourits come to see the team play at his stadium Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.
The Barça is the popular name of the main Barcelona team, whose stadium Camp Nou is also often visited.
If you have a chance, having a drink at a bar during an important match (Champions League, National Team matches...) is a true experience, is interesting to see how passionatley this sport is live in Spain, people shout, insult, jump, cry...
Neither of us windsurf, but we couldn't help be impressed by the practitioners in Tarifa. Apparently, the meeting of the Mediterranean and Atlantic air masses generates a lot of wind in Tarifa, and it is one of Europe's top windsurfing destinations. I inquired -- it is NOT the place to be a beginner!
Bullfighting is the national sport of Spain. Certainly, it's controversial -- especially among non-Spaniards -- for its cruelty. But, it is an integral part of Spanish culture and can be arrestingly beautiful. Bring your camera! If you want to understand machismo and bravado, you should see a bullfight.
Predictably, only us guys went to the event while the women did, well, we don't know what they did. The bullfights are held at 8 p.m. on Sunday and nothing else is open then -- we were hoping they'd get the shopping out of their system. We bought tickets on the shady side (a must) despite the extra cost, and we saw three torreadors fight two bulls a piece. The fans sitting next to us explained to us everything that was going on. There is a lot of ritual to a bullfight!
So, before getting too judgemental about the sport, go see it for yourself.
Equipment: Bring binoculars, since the bullrings can be big. If you don't get a seat in the shade, prepare to sweat.
I think you can do this if you want. People do. I have no idea how you'd go about fighting a bull or why you'd want to. But go for it if you want to.
Equipment: A pink cape for the beginning of the fight and a red cape for the end of the fight. A sword is necessary to administer the final kill. An elaborate wardrobe, complete with tight pants and a hat, is required. I would think a protective cup would also be useful.
Travelling by bicycle in spain is great and the spanish are crazy about bike riding.
Afterall it's the country of people like Indurain,Delgado,Mayo,Sevilla Sastre etc.
If you are on your way up a mountain you are sure to get some cheers on your way.
And Spain is getting an increasing number of bicycle lanes these days that makes things a bit easier for the visiting cyclist.
Equipment: a bicycle mabye.
The places to go for different sports in Spain are:
Sierra Nevada(Granada) : Skiing/snow boarding.
Tarifa(Cádiz) : Surfing, Windsurfing and kitesurfing.
Los Caños de Meca: Kitesurfing
Los Picos de Europa (Asturias): Mountain climbing and hiking.
The National Parks in Malaga/Cádiz: Walking/trekking/hiking/climbling.
Vias Verdes (cádiz): Cycling
Canery Islands: Diving
Jerez(Cádiz): Horse riding.
Jerez (Cádiz): Motorcycling
Costa Del Sol (Malaga): Golfing
Costa de la Luz: Beach Volleyball
If you are a keen football fan of Real Madrid football team, you are able to watch football matches at Stadium Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid when Real Madrid football team are playing at home when La Liga is in full swing. There are no football matches during the summer months as football season usually begins in August until May of the following year.
Stadium Santiago Bernabéu was officially opened in the year 1947 and Real Madrid made the stadium its homeground since 1955. The name Santiago Bernabéu is derived from the name of its club president. The stadium was designed by architect Manuel Muñoz Monasterio. It has a capacity today of approximately 85,000 spectators.
Real Madrid football club was founded in 1902 and has been playing in several venues throughout the city of Madrid before Stadium Santiago Bernabéu was constructed. Guided tour of the stadium is available daily between 10.00 a.m. and 7.00 a.m. Cost of guided tour is not cheap. It costs slightly less than 20.00 euros per adult. With the guided tour visitors are able to have a panoramic view of the stadium, step onto the football field, visiting the trophy room, the museum, the dressing room, the players' tunnel and even the presidential box. However if you do not wish to spend so much money to take the guided tour, you can just visit the restaurant and you will still have a good view of the stadium.
Being a bit of an F1 fan, I have been to Barcelona twice to watch the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix in 2004 and 2007. On both occasions the race was won by Ferrari, Michael Schumacher in 2004 and Felipe Massa in 2007. We had tickets in the main grandstand which provides great views of the starting grid and all it has to offer in the pre-race build up, star spotting and the race itself. Although not cheapest tickets the protection offered by the covered grandstand from the possibility of rain or strong sunshine is well worth the little extra, because it can be a long day.
The circuit is located approximately 15 miles from the centre of Barcelona and for anyone contemplating travelling to the circuit or just travelling past the circuit on race day, please allow plenty of time for your journey. The motorway gets completely lock jammed. It is probably best to either travel to the circuit before 7am or to travel by train. The nearest station to the circuit is Montmelo from where it is about a one mile walk to the circuit. Along the way to the circuit from Montmelo you will pass by many small stand holders who sell F1 merchandice and the obligatory air horns.
Equipment: Definitely bring a good camera and or video camera to capture the noise and the action. You may also wish to consider ear plugs, although I prefer to do without. The noise is tremendous, particularly if you have seats in the main grandstand. The sound of 22 F1 cars roaring past at the start is unforgetable!
A sun hat and sun cream is also essentlial if it is to be a sunny day. No point in spoiling the occasion by trying to hide from the sun if you feel the onset of sun stroke. I would also recommend taking a packed lunch with plenty of liquid refreshment because it can be a long sit and buying at the circuit can be expansive and there can be long queues. I bought a round of beer in 2007 and it cost me 132 euros for 11 pints!
Soccer is, without doubt, the most important sport in Spain and in Barcelona. And Barça is 1 of the greatest European soccer teams of all times. So, if you like soccer, it would be a shame to miss the chance of watching a match in the spectacular Camp Nou.
But, if you can't attend a match in Camp Nou, you have the chance of seeing the stadium through a visit to Barça's museum. Here, you'll see many trophies exposed, the small art gallery, the football memorabilia and also visit the pitch itself.
Sun. and holidays: 10.00-14.00
1 Jan, 6 Jan, 24 Sept and 25 Dec.:closed
There are many outstanding bullrings in Spain, most notably in Madrid and Sevilla and you can join the locals for this interesting spectacle during the season which runs from late spring to late fall.
An important, but controversial, aspect of the Spanish culture is bullfighting. In Spain, bullfighting is not considered a sport so much as it is considered an art form. All Spanish cities and towns have a bullring. Pictured here is Las Ventas Bullring in Madrid, the largest in the world.
Between 1913 and 1920, the popularity of bullfighting in Madrid grew so quickly that the city's former bullring, the Carretera de Aragon, became inadequate for the growing crowds. Therefore, Las Ventas Bullring was planned to be the largest in the world, with a seating capacity of 25,000. The bullring itself has a diameter of 197 feet (60 meters). Designed by architect José Espeliú, construction began in 1922 and was completed in 1929. The bullring opened in 1931 with its first bullfight.
Las Ventas Bullring was built in the neo-Mujédar style of architecture, and features decorative ceramic representations of the heraldic crests of the different Spanish provinces on its outer walls.
In addition to bullfights, Las Ventas Bullring has hosted large-scale rock concerts and tennis matches.
The bullfight is an elaborate spectacle which not only involves the matador (bullfighter), but also his team which includes mounted picadores and banderilleros, whose job it is to plant pairs of darts, or banderillos, into the bull's neck to weaken it for the matador. Three matadors alternate in the fighting of six bulls. The senior matador fights the first and third bull, the second matador fights the second and fifth bulls, and the third matador fights the third and sixth bulls.
The bullfight results in the death of the bull, which can be disturbing to some people who do not appreciate the importance of the sport to the Spanish.
Spent a week travelling around the North coast of Spain with a Surf adventure company called Surf Atlantico. Visited Austurias, Cantabria, and San Sebastian.
The guys who run it (Dan and Ben) know the area really well and took us to some great beaches. Tuition and (good quality) equipment was provided. The whole thing was so hassle free and this part of the country is stunning.
This is a great option if you like to be active and see some of the countryside at the same time.
We went surfing twice a day but could have surfed less if we chose.
Flew in to Santander with Ryanair.
Loved Austurias for the beaches, Cantabria for the countryside (and more beaches), and San Sebastian for the Tapas!
Equipment: The company provide this for you. If you want to bring your own board it's pretty cheap to bring it with Ryanair.
This is a beautiful property with a modern, luxurious feel. For those of you who want a more...more
With most four-star hotels in Madrid (and throughout Western Europe) charging US$400 or more, the...more
C/ Retamas 1, San Agustin, 35100, Spain
Good for: Couples
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