1 APRIL 2018
We got up early to go to the El Rastro market. It is the most popular open air flea market in Madrid and it is held every Sunday, even on Easter. It opens at 9:00 am and we arrived at about that time.
The market sprawls through the streets and seems like it never ends. There isn’t a good way to cover it all. You just kind of wander through it. There is a variety of new and used items … lots of clothes, jewelry, handbags, artwork, etc. There are many streets of antiques. The streets are crowded with people.
Ellen made a vendor try on a belt that she wanted to buy for Jon.
There were purses made from old records. Larger purses made from albums too.
Entertainment and street musicians.
Inexpensive food and tapas.
Ellen found a skirt to try on.
You could even buy a kumquat tree.
A few hours at the market was overwhelming. Around 1:00 pm, Diane went out to eat with her cousin Mariano and the rest of us headed back to the hotel. Ellen packed up … she was flying out early Monday morning and wanted to get organized. Peggy and I went across the street for Paella and WiFi. It was a nice relaxing afternoon.
Corrida de Toros
After much discernment, we decided to go to the bullfight on Sunday evening. This is a model of the bullfight arena in Madrid.
Sunday evening features the more experienced matadors who go up against the 6-year old bulls. (For more info on bullfights, scroll back to my Camino Frances blog and look for the post titled, “Madrid: What’s the Bull all About?”)
When David and I went last year, we went on a Saturday night which is when the novice matadors perform and the bulls are younger and not as aggressive. Big difference! Now that I was somewhat desensitized to the gore, it was very exciting to watch.
The matador (below in blue) was the favorite of the crowd. He did a number of passes and the crowd was yelling “Olay! Olay! as they were waved white hankies.
After the round, people would throw things like a hat, a scarf and even a seat cushion into the ring. The matador walked the circumference of the ring, picked up the items and tossed them back to the thrower. Sometimes he would kiss the item before throwing it back. Just a guess, but is this how the phrase, “… throw your hat in the ring …” originated?
On the final round, this matador had a really good match. They cut both ears off the bull and presented them to him. In his earlier match, he only got one ear. Below he is strutting around the arena carrying the bull’s ear.
In the last match, the bull did a good job too. The audience stood to applaud toro and the horses drug him around the arena for a victory lap — an honor for the bull and the farm that raised him.
This was such a good match that someone put the matador on his shoulders for another victory lap around the arena and the press and media joined in.
After the bullfight, we went to dinner with Eduardo at Lamucca de Prado. He is a teacher at Anderson school in Minneapolis which is where Peggy teaches. Eduardo, who is originally from Cancun, was visiting his sister who lives in Madrid. It was also our last evening with Ellen, She is flying home on Monday and back teaching Spanish at Edina Middle School on Tuesday.
After dinner, we were so tired … walking back to the hotel seemed to take forever even though it was only a couple blocks. It was not a typical Easter — but we did have plenty of ham and of course, we missed our families.