Every Friday, our study abroad program USAC takes us on cultural excursions and this Friday we got to go to a bullfighting ring in Bilbao. Spain is obviously notorious for events with bulls so it was interesting to find out that in a majority of Spain, bullfighting has actually been outlawed. However, in Bilbao that is NOT the case so it stands as one of the oldest and biggest bullfighting rings in the nation. We learned about the history of the stadium and then also walked through what a typical bullfight would look like. We learned what it takes to win in certain matches, who the judges are, how they rate the performance of the fighters, etc. The coolest part was definitely walking through the different bulls whose heads were on the wall or the one that was stuffed in the museum. These were the biggest and toughest bulls to bring down that they were actually saved so the public can see them. There's something eery about looking at stuffed bulls and when you think about it, it's a little inhumane that so many bulls have been and continue to be slaughtered every year in this sport. However, it is a HUGE part of the culture, especially in Bilbao. It was explained to us that it's a huge part of their history and every bullfight is a chance for the community to gather and cheer on their fellow comrades. That is something I understand. It's like the US getting together for the Superbowl or the Final Four to watch one of your culture's greatest sporting events. A part of me definitely feels sad for the little guys (HAHA they're actually huge) but I respect that they've kept it part of their culture for years. Don't know if I could stomach watching one in person but Olé Bilbao!