Despite my own feelings about bull fighting I was keen to see inside a ring so I joined the mid day tour of the the bull ring in Seville. Armed with an audio tour I joined a group of about fifty people and we were chaperoned through each area by a guide who spoke both English and Spanish.
The exterior of the building is rather grand glinting burnt umber and white against a blue sky right by the river. We paid about 8 euros for an hour’s tour. The rooms on the outer edge of the ring are now a museum and the first we entered was a gallery of paintings inspired by this sport.
We were led on to an area which displayed artefacts and costumes and certainly the bullfighter must have made a glamorous figure with his brightly coloured jackets, buttons and grand hat.
The room that interested me most was the ‘quiet room’, nothing much in there but a large hanging lantern and a few pictures. Here the bull fighter would stand for a few moments in silence gathering his thoughts and no doubt his courage before marching into the ring.
And finally we were led into the ring, it reminded me of a cross between Twickenham rugby ground and the coliseum in Rome, you can imagine the roar of the crowd, the sand on the floor being sprayed as the bull charges and the loud thud of the heart beat of the bull fighter as he makes his first move.