#europe2013whaddup – MADRID (PART 3)

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Okay so the arrangement has been pretty confusing thus far, but here’s my last post on Spain, and this time, on Madrid. We spent about a day and a half roaming around the city before we took a flight back to London from Madrid-Barajas airport. Anyway, it’s London up next… West End, Buckingham Palace and Shakespeare’s Globe!

Day 7

We did a fair bit on sightseeing when we arrived in Madrid on Day 2 and 3, and I think we pretty much covered the main sights of the city. But if there’s one thing I really wanted to see, it was a bullring.  I didn’t have to watch a match, knowing that we would have to sit there and watch a bull die. Prior to my trip to Spain, I always thought it was a performance of sorts, I never thought it would have been so cruel. Plus, there weren’t any bullfights during the period we were there, so it worked out well. But, really…. I just wanted to see a bullring.

In my previous post, I whined about how we didn’t have enough time to see the one in Seville. I was so bummed, thinking that I would have to head up to the north of the country and save it for a second trip to Spain. This is where I get lucky again – we did some much-needed research and turns out, there was one in Madrid, Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas! It’s also known to be one of the most prestigious in the world. Imagine that, it was like we were sitting on a pot of gold without even realising it heh.

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Seeing that it was towards the end of our trip to Spain, and we still had quite a bit of Euros left, we decided to splurge on the audio tour. On hindsight, we should have gotten an audio tour whenever it was available. It really helps, and makes your visit so much more educational and enriching. Damnit, we tried to travel cheap, but sometimes you can’t save on money like that, heh!

More than just a building for bullfighting matches, this place is steeped in history. From the names of respected matadors who have outshined their peers, to the chilling walk past the sick bay, the positioning of specific seats and why they are placed there (for example, there is a boxed up seat at the top just for royalty and the King), it was an insightful trip as we caught a glimpse of Spanish heritage and culture.
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When compared to a fanciful attraction like the Seville Cathedral, this, for many, might have paled in comparison. It was simple, and it was just me and my audio guide. But there was a certain sense of peace and serenity as I walked through the amphitheatre, with my audio guide playing the recorded cheers and jeers of the crowd. I imagined how amazing a live bullfight would be… sans the stabbing of the bull.

So was this visit worth it?

I most definitely think so.
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