The varying sights of Madrid

2009/10/30 § 1 Comment

On Sunday, the 18th, my friends and I headed out in the evening to experience some of the “culture” of Spain- the bullfight.  Going in, we weren’t really, really sure what to expect.  I kind of was, since I had read a little about it, but I had no idea as to the gory-ness of it.  The Plaza de Toros- very pretty, and Melissa got us seats in the shade, so we were all set and excited to for it to start.  They had trumpeters, and everyone who was anyone marched out in their finery and we got ready to start.  There were three toreadors, and each one has a whole bunch of assistants.  The assistants get the bull all warmed up (that is, they throw their *pink* capes around), then they guys on the horses come out and jab the bull with a spear a couple of times, then the assistants stick some pointy things in, and then the toreador himself comes out, and the real show begins.  Of the three bulls we mangaged to sit through, only one of the toreadors was good- he got the sword in between the shoulder blades on the first try.  The others were terrible, and this is what was truly gruesome.  The bull has to die, so everyone there gets to sit and watch the toreador stick the sword in as many times as it takes to kill that poor bull.  Once it’s dead, it gets hauled off, and sold to really expensive restaurants.  We watched this happen three times, and then we headed for the hills and got a medicinal drink for the shock.

On Tuesday the 20th I went on a field trip with school to el Palacio Real, the royal palace here in Madrid.  It is HUGE and gorgeous and very, very over the top.  It was home to the Bourbon kings, and it’s said that when Napoleon came here to put his brother on the Spanish throne, he said “You’re home will be much nicer than mine!” or something like that.  It is very, very, very large, and very, very, very shiny.  There are lots of clocks (they are big on clocks), and gold, and mirrors, and crystal, and…yeah.  However, just like everything else in Spain, no inside pictures, and my pictures of the outside are stuck on my 16gb SD card, so those might be a while.  But google it, ’cause it’s incredible.  The whole group from San Diego was there, so we got a group picture (on the #$%@! card), and then Alyssa and I headed off to see if we could get her metro pass- she had been waiting for her’s for three weeks (’cause she just turned 20 in August, she get’s the discounted one- the rest of us get to pay full price) and the lady at the estanco near me (the tobacco shop) was much more helpful, and so the next day she got her abono!  Yay!  But boo, it doesn’t start until November, but at least she has it.  I went to Alcampo in search of more peanut butter.  Awesome.

On Wednesday we took advantage of it being 5-euro-at-the-movies-day and saw “La Cruda Realidad”- “The Ugly Truth” with Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler.  I loved it.  I thought it was funny, and I learned so much Spanish, and I really enjoyed it BUT!  I did not understand the dirty jokes, so if you’re thinking “oh let’s rent it!” be warned that I’ve heard that in English, the jokes are really quite filthy.  I don’t know if I’ll ever see it in English, since I just want to remember it as a movie I enjoyed, haha. 

Thursday night I went to an intercambios (fun!), but Friday…Friday was not good.  I had a Terrible Migraine, and had to stay home from everything, including my first class day at the Prado!  That was not good.  I pretty much just stayed in bed all day.  Boo.  But!  I did feel better the next day, so I was able to go to El Escorial and Valle de los Caidos- next post!

Hasta luego, un beso-

Allie

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