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Blood and sunshine - bullfight in Malaga

Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area - Georgia
Originally smaller than Central Park in New York City, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area has grown seven times larger over the years. Now .....
On a blisteringly hot day in Malaga in the summer of 2001 whilst away learning Spanish in the Andalusian city, I resolved to see my first bullfight. With my father being a long time Spanish teacher I had often heard about his trips to the bullfight with his students and I also had vague recollections of a television programme watched whilst on holiday in northern Spain commemorating the death of a matador - a horrific goring was a shocking sight to an eight year old boy and had left me with mixed feelings about ever going to a bullfight. Part of me attracted by the spectacle and what it symbolises in Spain's cultural heritage, and part of me reviled slightly as a young man with a fairly weak stomach for gore and blood.

Tickets were secured early in the afternoon for a surprisingly large price. I discovered prices varied massively depending on whether you're sitting in the sun or the shade with the latter obviously being the most coveted and therefore most costly. As the afternoon sun cast its light over half of the arena, I looked around and noticed that the bullring was by no means full as the first bull came skidding and pounding out of the enclosure. I was at once struck by the sheer size and power of the creature, specifically bred to be as aggressive and unpredictable as possible and weighing somewhere in the region of 600kg. Straight away the giant animal crashed into the wooden fencing surrounding the bullring, smashing a hole and rendering itself unfit to fight on account of it's injuries. A replacement bull was sent out and the spectacle was underway at the second time of asking. I sat back with my bag of sunflower seeds and my beer (trying to look the part at least) to watch the drama unfold.

From conversations I have had since and from books that I've now read I realise how often North Europeans view the
About the Author

For the last five years Mike McDougall has been working as a travel writer and marketeer. He's currently working for a Spanish language School ( http://www.babylon-idiomas.com )

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