Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Last Full Day in España and a Farewell Night at the Bullfights

Tuesday, 2 June, 2015:

Laurie wanted to sleep in late this morning, so I let her continue to doze while I went out for a walk.

 Physical activity is the key at this stage of my life I believe.

As I headed towards La Puerta del Sol, I suddenly realized . . .

. . . I knew this church . . .

 . . . I knew this sign . . .

 . . . I knew this street . . .

 . . . I knew this place . . .

. . . and I certainly knew this order
of churros and chocolate!

Fully awake now and together again, the two of us started a new stroll.

Royalty in a park

Roman rulers

Atop the Royal Palace


Even the Armed Forces of Spain
have a church in their honor


I like Madrid's classic street signs, here is a sampling from today's morning walk.

Cool street signs don't you think?

Our reflections at the
San Andres Cervecería

An Orwellian fountain

A Mercado in the
La Latina neighborhood

We just had to go in.

Fishmonger at work


Fileting with a HUGE knife

Neat old building

Bike Rack on the 1st floor

Love the tile work

Guiness Book of Records declares this
the oldest restaurant in the world

Botin was founded in 1725 making it 51 years older than the USA.

More cool tiles

They serve mushrooms I think

GREAT mercado!

Bullfights tonight

We took the 15 minute Metro ride to the ticket broker behind Madrid's Las Ventas Plaza de Toros to pick up our two ducats for tonight's corrida.

Las Ventas looked sharp today

86 years but looking great still

The Moorish style is to my liking

Not again?!?!?

Lunch at Juana La Loca

It is an award winning option

Much less crowded today

Pablo and Lena took us here last Sunday when the crowds were out on the town.

Tortilla Española with
caramelized onions

With a Clara of course.

Sidra a bit later in the day

With a tapa or three

Good sidra from our ancestral
province of Asturias

A fine sidra pour!

After a short rest at the hotel for me while Laurie hunted for another pair of shoes to bring home (she was unsuccessful), it was time for La Fiesta Brava.

 Angel praying for a fallen matador

A victorious matador

It was HOT! So instead of loitering out side the Plaza de Toros we opted to enter the shaded, cooler inner workings of the arena.

Barcelona no longer has bullfights

One of the Plaza de Toros bars

Modern art with a toro twist

Smoking inside the arena is encouraged

So is Havana Club rum

We rented two ancient put thick seat cushions and went to our seats on the shady side of the Plaza de Toros.

Along the rooftops

Waiting to chalk two large circles

Still a long time until the 7:00 p.m. start

Where did she get a fan?

Capes at the ready

The band played and . . .

. . . the Entrance Parade started
as the Fiesta de San Isidro was about
to have its 35th night of bullfighting

These two on horseback are the ones
who present ears and tails to
matadors who earn them

They would be quite bored tonight as it turned out.

The matadors and their entourages enter


Strutting with a purpose

Time to warm up

Practicing passes

The six bulls tonight were from Celestino Cuadri Ranch.

Our three matadors were Luis Miguel Encabo, Fernando Robleño and Alberto Aguilar. 


It would be a long night for everyone tonight as the six bulls were all extremely non-aggresive. They would not charge and were content to just stand and stare most of the night.

The matadors therefore had their hands full trying to get any flow going.

A wide pass


Nice tail action

Horn closing in on its target

It took some time for him to attack

The bull fought the picador well
once he finally charged

Attacking movement

One more set of banderillas to go

I'll do it!

Good placement

Nice pass

Stare down

Stay on target

I DOUBLE dog dare you!

New bull, same lethargy

Still wide



The Moment of Truth

He found the mark --
time for another bull

A good pass

Watch that horn

Bring it!

Noble looking beast

Good cape work

Watching and waiting for a bull
to do something remotely aggressive

Egging on the listless bull

Careful . . .

. . . what . . .

. . . you . . .

. . . wish . . .

. . . for!

Finally some action in the arena

Here come the capes

The bull was distracted and the
picador quickly remounted his steed

This banderillero was a crowd favorite

Stop staring!!!

Still a bit too wide

Getting closer

Come and get me

I liked this pass

At your beck and call

Matador trying hard

Try as they might, no matador won an award tonight as the bulls underperformed in all six confrontations.

This was not a night worthy of the traditions of Madrid's famous Fiesta de San Isidro to say the least. 

The end of the corrida . . .

. . . and also the end of our time in España. What an incredible time we have had here with the Cobras family in particular and Spain in general. We are grateful to everyone in Murcia that welcomed us into their lives and their homes.

Tomorrow morning Laurie and I take our separate flights to arrive in Los Angeles about ten minutes apart. It will be good to be home.

1-2-3 COBRAS

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