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A Fascinating Holiday in the Old Moorish Town of


Only £340 to £440 per week for 6 people


Now I really enjoy Spain and the culture and traditions of rural Andalucian life but that doesn't mean that I have to embrace everything. As a spectacle bullfighting is impressive, the ceremonials, the crowd dressed in their finery and the sheer scale of it but I have to admit I find it, at best, peculiar. I do tend to think that I shouldn't criticise the culture of another country just because it doesn't fit in with the cultural values I've grown up with, and I've never been to a live bullfight, only watched it on the television (complete with action replays, interviews with the stars and analysis by pundits - just like Match of the Day). But even putting aside the cruelty issue, and it is hard to argue that the ritual torment and killing of a bull isn't cruel, what strikes me most is how bizarre it is. 


The bull runs out and chases some dressed up blokes around and, in the theatrical manner of Charlie Chaplin or clowns at a circus, they go and hide behind some boards - which the bull bashes for a bit. After a while the dressed up blokes (some on horses) start sneaking up on the bull and sticking long spears into its back to slow it down, then a very dressed up bloke starts dancing around with the bull, making it run through a red cape. After that, the very dressed up bloke produces the big sword he's been hiding in the cape, like some kind of stage villain, and kills the bull (try doing that on British TV). Oh, then I think he cuts a bit off it and gives it to somebody as a trophy.

Now the first time you see it, even though you might not like the idea of it, it does grab the attention. But it only takes about ten minutes, then it's done again, and again, and again and again and............ It's like watching Manchester United v. Shrewsbury when everybody's agreed what the score will be beforehand and they always do the same moves and it's always 1-0 and Rooney always scores in the last minute, again and again and again. After the third 'fight', no matter what your opinion of the spectacle generally, your natural tendency to support the underdog kicks in and you're on the side of the bull - "Come on Toro, where's your pride - get stuck in".

It really gets to me that, even when this very dressed up guy makes a mistake, maybe the bull lunges unexpectedly and catches him off balance and he gets knocked over the bull still doesn't get away. Half a dozen dressed up mates rush in to take his place until he's back on his feet and then he carries on and kills the bull anyway. What's the point of it? Why do people want to spend half a day watching it?

If you want to go the season is from spring to autumn and there are bullrings in Coin and Malaga. You won't get gored but you might be bored.