Monday, April 11, 2016

Horses and Carriages and Costumes!

Waiting their turn in the ring, note the women's costumes in the carriage.

Big show, Ivan got us tickets to the, hmm, don’t know what to call it (in Spanish the ticket says Exhibicion De Enganches which Google translates to Display Hooks - What?! It was a horse and carriage event in the large bullring here called the Plaza De Toros De Sevilla. 

Look at the pompoms on the horse's head!

It was BIG, full of participants and spectators, colourful and a showcase of skilled drivers and horses. 

Ladies dressed in Flamenco

The carriages were of all kinds, even a mail one from London and several from Portugal. If the owners were driving they wore a suit and tie, if it was a professional driver they wore period dress of the age of the carriage. 

Lone rider, we figured it was a racing carriage, huge wheels!

Carriages contained mostly women dressed in flamenco dresses and mantillas but some had little girls in them who waved at the crowds like pros. It was a big event for Sevilla, streets blocked off and famous people came to celebrate, not that we saw any of them. 

Start of the Processions

The age of the drivers ranged from a lad of twelve to the oldest woman driving in Spain, of course one does not ask how old a woman is so we didn’t learn her age, many drivers were women wearing clothing appropriate to driving a carriage, pants and sturdy boots and hats. 

The horses are another story in themselves, mostly very well trained but did see some near mishaps mostly around the entrance and exit gates. Some almost danced across the arena, if paired, in time with each other in a high legged trot. There were singles, doubles, up to five horse teams and they were tied together in different ways which would make it harder or easier for communication with the carriage driver.

The Plaza de Toros de Sevilla bullring was built in the 1700’s and has been meticulously maintained for bull fights since. It is so very large, irregularly shaped, not round, not oval, three tiers. We were on the top and my fears of being squished between hordes were alleviated when we arrived, seating was hard benches but roomy. They rent cushions for the seats and if one was there longer than we were would be appreciated and needed. 

It started to rain and it was funny to see the sea of umbrellas that came out instantly, from seeing heads to umbrellas, all colours of the rainbow, only a shower. 

Sea of umbrellas and horses and carriages

Lots of horses and carriages, sometimes coming a bit too close to each other!

Ivan talked to some children, and helped them over the railing to get seated under the roof now seated in front of us, ages five to seven and in English because they are obviously learning in school. Here children are revered and sacred, no difference in other cultures, but here there children have more freedom and learn to talk to anyone, strangers, like adults do, more trusting atmosphere would be a better way to say it.

After the display we went to a traditional place for lunch called Restaurante Las Piletas meaning by Google, the pools, but we figured out it was troughs for horses to drink at.  Wonderful meal but large, no tapas here, being close to the bullring it had bull heads on the wall, jamon on the ceiling and a very long bar which was packed, Ivan had to reserve a table for us. Horse and carriage drove up for the participants to have lunch, waited, so we heard the horses neighing once in a while, a bit unusual for us, horses neighing? while on one of the major streets in Sevilla?

Another unusual experience to be filed away in our memories.

Wet day but we go out anyway, being from the West (wet) Coast and all. Open the door to find this little fellow, now how did he/she get to the second floor? Well it climbed the stairs of course, doubt it came up the elevator. Research told us it's  called a house Gecko, harmless, with sticky pads on it’s feet. As long as it stays outside our flat it’s okay to live here.

Awww, just please stay outside, Lexi would play with you and possibly hurt you!

All for now, off to Feria tomorrow, Sevilla's Spring Fair via horse and carriage - Just wait for the next blog!

Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat

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