Corrida Nimes Reviews
corrida - bullfighting: skillful sport or brutal slaughter? May 28, 2009
Whether one seems bullfighting as a beautiful sport or as a mindless and unnecessary form of primeval bestiality is a question that's open for a debate, and one that's surely enhanced by being exposed to the sport first hand.
That's exactly what we have set out to experience and luckily for us, we were able to get tickets for an evening during one of the three annual bullfighting festivals in Nimes - Feria de Pentecote.
First, we arrived a bit late in the city, only to find ourselves in a midst of a chaos that's utterly indescribable. There were cars parked everywhere for miles - literally every possible corner, curb, two feet of space, was taken up by a car and we were circling for a while trying to find a spot. Then we made another mistake that we'll forewarn others about - remember where you park you car or, if using a GPS, quickly commit the 'Current location' to the GPS's memory and take the GPS with you in order to find the car. Otherwise it may get unpleasant...
The walk to the arena and getting our tickets printed in the office next to the arena was a piece of cake as everyone was walking in the same direction. The amphitheatre is old, huge, and can house many thousand people. However, it was packed and few places were left. It seems that the cheapest, non-reservable places are the only places not worth getting as little detail can be seen from them, and if you want really good seats, Premiere B and Seconde B seem perfect as they're right above where most action takes place and the sun is directly behind you.
As for the actual evening, in our case there were five bulls and five different teams of torreros. It seems that the arena was mostly packed with locals as everyone seemed to have known exactly what to look for and it was easy to see that the sport is highly ritualized as even small deviations brought about boo'ing and whistling.
Walking out, we still felt uneasy about how to classify the sport. It's definitely bloody and at times painful to watch. The bulls never quite have a chance. However, there is much beauty in the sport and it's doubtless that it takes an enormous amount of skill and nerves to participate in it. And even during this one evening there seems have been some close calls. One thing remains certain - regardless of the mix of emotions we felt during the show and afterwards, it was definitely something worth experiencing at least once first-hand.
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