Another hot day, although not ungodly so (a mere 104° F, 40° C). I walked to the Parque Retiro, a huge park in the Retiro district of Madrid (behind the Prado). It was beautiful with lots of full tree, fountains and lawns. Also an absolute maze of paths.
My evening plans were the Bullfights. I was a few minutes late so I missed the first (of six) fights. I'm not sure how I feel about the fights. I sat way at the top of the ring, so I didn't have to deal with the gore on a personal level. Still it was sad, not because the bull dies, but because of the change that the bull goes through. When the bull first charges into the ring it is noble. Fearless, vicious, but noble. Through the various stages of the fight the bull is transformed to a confused, and sometimes even pitiful wreck. The actual fight is sometimes quite beautiful. The matador is very fluid and graceful, more what I would expect at a ballet. Unfortunately they always seem to strut a little to much for me to like them - I found myself cheering for the bull more than once. Overall I enjoyed the experience and I stayed for all the fights - originally I was hoping to make it through two of them. I think sitting way above I may have got a too sterilized picture of the proceedings. If I go again I'll try to sit closer and see how I feel after.