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Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

almost all of us know this famous heading quote from lord edward stark from the tv serial “games of thrones”. he was referring with this sentence that the people should prepare for the winter which is coming soon.

as the days are getting colder in madrid and the first christmas decoration are hanging around the city center, we also prepare for the coming winter.

for this week we came up with the idea to write about different ways of enjoying the winter and practising sports, so let us introduce you several activities which can be done during the winter in the snow.

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the bullfighting in spain is questioned since years, people saying that the act and killing of the bull should be forbidden and not be longer a part of spanish culutral activities. however when the event is taking place the entrance card are sold out quickly and banns thousands of people for some hours in the world of bullfighting with all his emotions.

in this blog we will not focus so much in the history of it moreover we want to present famous bullrings as “the plaza de toros” in ronda, “plaza toros las ventas”  in madrid and  “plaza de toros de la maestranza” in sevilla. for sure there are a lot more rings all over spain, as almost every bigger city has his own bullring, but as the three “plazas” mentioned before are the most important ones in spain, we will have a closer look to them.

but before presenting the three rings let me take you shortly through the history of the bullfighting in spain. the bullfighting in spain as we know today was created in the early 18th century from francisco romero, while the first ring was build in 1749.

one of the oldest plaza de toros in spain, younger and smaller than that at sevilla, but home to one of spain’s most famous ‘schools’ of bullfighting, is ronda.  this city became the city of birth of the traditional bullfighting and the city of practice for the first toreros. torero is the definiton off all people participating during the act. otherwise there are novilleros, matadores, banderillero and picadores. however the main protagonist is the matador who is angering the bull with the “muleta“, the red cloth, and giving the bull the deathblow witht the sword.

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the traditional bullfighting, corrida in spain, and his main act are divided into three parts

tercio de varas

in the first part the torero is meeting the bull, this part should give him the opportunity to get to know his enemy, read his movements, and get along with him. some movements of the torero are accompanied by the audience with an “olé”

tercio de banderillas

in the second part the banderillos, helpers of the torereo, comes into the act. their task is it to weaken the bull by stinging 3 banderillas, colourful spears, into the back of the bull

tercio de muleta y estocada

the final showdown in which the torero is trying to prick the rapier into the bull´s heart and finish him off

today the plaza de toros is a museum, open to tourists, and used only in the spectacular september goyesca bullfights, in which combatants dress in the manner of goya’s portraits of 18th century life in spain. this year the act will be performed the 6th of september.

however the plaza de toros de las ventas in madrid became through the decades to one of the  most important ring of bullfighting worldwide. the plaza was build up in 1929 and presents since then the bullfighting spectacle to their audience. the ring has a capacity of ca. 25.000 people, who can enjoy the fighting.

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the season of the bullfighting is from may til october, however the best time to experience this act is during the san isidro festival in may and june, where almost every day a bullfight is shown to the audience.

apart of the bullfighting it is posible to visit the ring and his museum, a tour giving you the opportunity to learn more about the history of bullfighting and about the spanish passion for it.

the third ring which is being presented is the plaza de la maestranza in sevilla, the oldest and most significant bullrings in spain. it took more than 100 years to build up this ring with all his beauty. in this ring the bullfight moved from horseback to foot, and many of the cherished theatrical traditions of the matador evolved

 

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during the feria de abril, a week-long celebration of all things in seville, the season´s most prestigious fights are held. every afternoon, crowds pack the plaza de toros (under locals known as “the cathedral”) to see the “dance” between the matador and the bull. 

if the spectacle turns your stomach and is to much for you, you might like to visit only the museum and leave it at that. here you will find the chapel where the matadors pray, the hospital area in case of accidents, bull´s heads and matador´s costumes

bullfighting for sure is not as popular as it was once, but people still go and enjoy the act. for most of the outsiders it is hard to understand how people can get joy of this spectacel. but this not understanding exists in for example every kind of sports, not everyone likes futbol, saying what is so interesting about when 22 people are trying to catch a ball. and as long as the goverment will not forbid this event, the audience will go on jellying and shouting an “oléééééééééééééééé”

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spain is considered to be one of the most popular summer destinations. among its cosmopolite and authencity, cultural, historical and gastronomical richness, lies undoubtfull and strong advantage of its unique natural and biodiversity along with the geographical characteristics. lied by atlantic and maditerranean seas, spain has some the most precious coasts in the world – in costa dorada and costa del sol, asturias, galicia, costa blanca, costa verde and costa vasco, baleares &  canaries.. moreover, high number of spanish beaches are awarded with the blue flag voluntary eco label, what guaranties water quality, environmental management and safety of the beaches.

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fresh breath of air you can take when discover some less known spots like secluded coves and beaches, where on your own or with friends and family you can enjoy breathtaking natural landscapes and clean warm waters without being interrupted by the loud crowd. here are some of them:

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playa de rodas, islas cies, galicia

by taking a ferry trip (approx. 40 min) from vigo or barcelona you can reach islas cies – a spectacular and picturescue playa de rodas beach, where calm and crystal water makes perfect conditions for snorkeling or relaxing off the populated places.

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playa de silencio, oviedo, cudillero

not far from the asturian village cudillero you will find playa de silencio, quiet sand-and-stone beach in beautiful secluded cove.

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aiguablava, begur, girona

this natural beach is located in marvelous cove between cliffs of costa brava. it is not very secluded, but still much more quiet than other beaches of this area and is an ideal choice to go with family or friends if you are staying in begur or girona.

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das raias,  muxia, a coruña

tiny and unspoiled beach of das raias in the northwest spain, close to muxia town, offers amazing natural surroundings along with the white sand and clean calm water.

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cala dén serra, ibiza

ibiza nevertheless is known for non-stop parties and fun, however even here you can find peace and relaxation, e.g. on cala dén serra beach on the north of island, sheltered cove with impressing scenery,  known mostly by locals.

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cabo de gata, almeria

natural park cabo de gata is famous as ¨divers heaven¨, due to the excellent visibility along with the seascape and biological richness. here you can enjoy snorkeling (get some experience or equipment in the number of diving centers located in the park) or discover its small untouched beaches off the beaten places, starting at the sleepy coastal town of san jose and setting out to explore what the beautiful nature and landscape of this unique place can suggest you.

 

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…this is exactly how you feel on the bus, on the streets, in the parks, and in the bars around a stadium before a big game. this is what atlético de madrid, real madrid, fc barcelona, and other teams from the spanish teams have in common: a loyal supporter base that will follow them everywhere, that will sing their songs, that will cheer and shout and cry, that will wear their club’s colours with pride.

it was the ‘eve hours’ of one of the biggest football events of the 2013-14 calendar: atlético was receiving barça in the vicente calderon stadium, in madrid. granted, this was not ‘el clasico’ (real vs barça) but the two teams had finished the first half of the season at the top, with an equal number of points, so the stakes were high. words like ‘potentially decisive game’ and ‘title-defining’ were being used, bets were being placed, the coaches’ choices of 11s were being discussed.

so it is easy to understand why the crowds of supporters started gathering round the stadium well before the kick-off. it seems like vicente calderon is strategically located on the river banks, so that the ‘waves’ of the incoming supporters are easy to spot. atlético’s supporters are everywhere you look, and they are all, old and young, men and women, well proud of posing with their t-shirts, caps, flags and scarves. they are noisy, but not uncontrollable (perhaps since, in this case, the two rivals have one common enemy, which is real madrid), they are in this way carrying on the tradition of their club.

regardless of the result, the supporters of both teams are there for the game, for that first whistle and the last, for the shouts following an unfair decision, for the goals, for that perfect snapshot of their favourite player, for the atmosphere. and the atmosphere starts outside the stadium hours before the players go on the pitch; in a sense the game starts on the streets when the supporters gather for a drink and a song.

 

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one hour before the game, nearby the vicente calderon stadium

 

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you don’t have to ask them twice for a photo

 

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the streets near the stadium are filled with flags and scarves, for a last pre-game purchase

 

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girl helping her dad get his gear on… like father, like daughter!

 

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different generations, one love!

 

this moment is as unmissable as the game itself, there truly cannot be one without the other. for atletico, not having the streets filled with ‘rojiblancos’ (the ‘red and white’, from the club’s colours) prior to a match in vicente calderon would be the same as playing in a stadium without supporters: bare, quiet, and unfulfilling.

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