The In-Laws Go To Bilbao

August 28, 2006 By: erik Category: Bulls, Family, Photos, Videos, Wine 3,513 views

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We’re having a big in-law-fest(-tation) here in Spain. Both Marga’s parents and my parents slept at our house last night. We spent Saturday in Bilbao and saw a bullfight.
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The Friday market in Colindres was rained on a bit.

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We found refuge in a bar.

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Demonstrating how to eat a bar snack.

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A masculine bar near our house.

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Belén, Betsy, and Erik walking to the Batalla de Flores (in Laredo) from where we had to park waaaay far away.

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The people with balconies along the parade route had a good view.

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Another westie was spotted and fawned over.

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A float decorated entirely with real flowers.

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Some youngsters had an idea to see the parade better.

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Another float.

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The float that won this year’s competition.

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Some of the little kids on the floats were adorable!

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This baritone player had a clever idea to keep the confetti out of his horn.

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We went to a bar for an evening coffee.

On Saturday we went to walk around Bilbao. This week is Bilbao’s festival week, so there were bands and these things called cabezudos and gigantes.

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They must be pretty terrifying to a young child.

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I love the double teeth in this picture.

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A marching band goes by.

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The giants follow the band.

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Paul and Betsy watch them go by.

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The giants spin around and dance.

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There are some pretty artsy structures in Bilbao.

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Bilbao is a river city, and they have some really cool bridges.

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Crossing the footbridge. There were lots of people posing for pictures.

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Visiting the Guggenheim.

Aluminum Siding

Cool architecture.

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Walking up to see the puppy. The shallow and narrowing steps make it look like a long journey to the top.

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The sculpture that my parents really wanted to see. The flowery westie.

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The puppy was drooling. Water from the irrigation system feeding the flowers was dripping from his mouth.

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Inside the tourist information office, there was a chess tournament going on.

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A pensive kibitzer.

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We stopped for lunch. Most of us had paella for the first course and lamb chops for the second.

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A cool picture my father took of converging streets.

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My father liked the funny Spanish title to Talladega Nights: Pasado de Vueltas. It could be translated to “Too many laps”, and is an expression meaning “crazy” in Spain.

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This serious character was escorting some horses to the bullring.

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This is the team of horses that drag the dead bull out of the ring.

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Approaching the ring.

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This year’s festival poster.

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They rake the dirt before each day of fights.

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Perfectly raked. There is often a circular tarp in the middle that have advertisements. They remove it before the fight, of course.

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A pensive fan, weighing the moral dilemma between entertainment and animal cruelty.

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Our row of spectators: Juan, Marce, Marga, Erik, Betsy, and Paul (behind camera).

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The first bullfighter wasn’t very good.

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This bull was deemed to not be fit enough to fight, so he was spared. They get him to leave the ring by bringing in a herd of cows that he is to follow. But at first, he was agressive towards them. You can see how he’s splitting the herd here.

Normally there are six bulls and three bullfighters. The bullfighters each take turns and therefore do two bulls each. The day we went was going to be the last two fights for the first bullfighter, because he was retiring. In a very rare twist of events, however, both the second and third bullfighters got badly gored by their first bulls and had to be rushed to the hospital, so the retiring fighter had to do the second bulls of the others, for a total of 4 bulls on his retiring day.

By complete luck, the only video that I recorded that day was of one of the bullfighters getting hurt. A photograph of the moment of contact was on the front page of all the newspapers across Spain the next day.