Toro! Toro! Ole!

Valencia Bullring Bullfight Ticket

We took a cab from our hotel into Valencia after finding our hotel and unpacking. The cab let us off at the train station. The bullring sits right next to the station. When I saw it, I asked Chris if he wanted to see if we could get tickets to the bullfights the next day. We lucked out and got three tickets.

Bullfight tickets are sold in three categories: sol (sun), sombra (shade), and sol y sombra (sun and shade). "Sol" are the least expensive; they were all sold out when we got our tickets, so we got "sombra."

Meeting Jim Chris and Jim

The next day, we hooked up with our friend Jim right in front of the bullring.

Chris and Jim, getting ready for the carnage.

Marking the Ring The Band Plays

Prior to the start of the bullfights, the ring is marked with two circles.

Then a band comes out and plays...

Introducing the Matadors The Sweepers

... the matadors are introduced to the crowd ...

... as well as the sweepers, who keep the bullring in good shape between bullfights. On this particular day there were six bullfights scheduled.

Scaredy Matador Matador and Bull

When the bulls first come out, the matadors hide in niches that are built into the bullring walls. Not very fair for the bulls; they really don't get much of a shot at the matadors. Once this introductory ritual is completed, picadors come out to poke darts in the bulls' backs, which tires them out and sets them up for the matadors' second pass.

The bull and his tormentor.

Almost Over for Toro The End

It's almost over for toro at this point. He's been worked over by the picadors and the matadors, is tired out and bleeding profusely. The matador will finish him off with a sword.

When toro has had it, he lies dead on the bullring floor.

Dragging Toro Out A Bullfight in the Rain

They drag poor toro out by the horns, the sweepers following behind to get the bullring back in shape.

It rained briefly during our bullfight, and the umbrellas came out.

Smart Bull Museo Taurino Ticket

Of the four bullfights we stayed for, only one of the bulls was smart enough to survive. Partway through the bullfight, the bull just lied down in the middle of the ring and wouldn't move. The crowd booed. The matador exited, and a small herd of cows were sent out to lure the bull back into the bullring's holding pen.

Valencia has a small Bullfighting Museum, in which bullfighting items and histories are displayed. We visited it the next day - mainly since attendance was free.

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