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hijo
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Posted: 06 January 2006 at 9:45pm | IP Logged Quote hijo

Hey, when was the Hemingway Society Ronda trip scheduled for? I thought it might be July of this year?

Ronda is where Sydney Franklin and (John?) Fulton-Short wound up retiring as painters after their bullfighting careers. It is also considered the home of "modern" bullfighting technique, starting in the 1700s with Pedro Romero at the Maestranza bullring there.

In addition, it was a fierce hilltop battleground between Falangist/Fascist troops loyal to Franco and Loyalist/International troops loyal to the Republic of Spain - and features the bridge over the Tajo river from which according sources including Hemingway rival prisoners were tossed to the rocks and river below during the war.

Its hill and whitewashed homes rises from the road that leads to Mallaga.

Lastly, it is close to Antonio Ordonez's ranch, where the ashes of Orson Wells are scattered and the Rivera-Ordonez family still lives (including Francisco Rivera Ordonez and Ignacio Canales Rivera).

Antonio Ordonez was, in addition to being the son of Cayetano (the person on whom the bullfighter in The Sun Also Rises was based) and the hero of Hemingway's "The Dangerous Summer," also the matador for whom a particularly deadly placement of the killing sword in a bullfight is termed the "Rincon de Ordonez."

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hijo
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2thman
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Posted: 07 January 2006 at 7:17pm | IP Logged Quote 2thman

If you get a chance book a room in the parador overlooking the Tajo.  It's spectacular.  The old bullring has a great museum. 
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hijo
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Posted: 07 January 2006 at 7:41pm | IP Logged Quote hijo

2thMan: great to see you back.

We stayed on the side of the Tajo from which you cross the bridge, around a corner from a great restaurant that was hidden in a walled garden.

I got the Hemingway/Cayetano/Antonio photo from the photographer and we got into the bullring when it was completely empty and eerie and my wife took a few pics of my pretending to do a few passes...

We loved Ronda. It's the kind of place we talk about retiring to all the time. If the Hemingway Society is heading there this year, as I thought, who knows? It's just a 6 hour plane ride to Madrid, a 2 1/2 hr Talgo trip to Sevilla, and another hour or so on the road past the hills of olive groves and vinyards and azafran fields to the hills looking down on the coast...

Of course, if we made such a trip, we'd naturally want to stop in Granada as well to visit the Albacin and Plaza San Miguel...and the old sail making shop that made the sails for the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria...

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hijo
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Peter Krynicki
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Posted: 13 January 2006 at 11:16am | IP Logged Quote Peter Krynicki

This might be a help...

Alternately considered a barbaric spectacle, graceful art form, or cultural curiosity, bullfighting is part of the Spanish identity. One thing's for certain: The bulls never make it out alive, so it's not for the faint of heart.

Plaza layout


 

All bullrings, or plazas, are round, shaped like coliseums of old. The seating terminology varies, but most bullrings are divided as follows: The first and second rows of seats surrounding the ring are known as the Barrera (barrier) and Contrabarrera, respectively. Behind these rows are six- or seven-row sections called tendidos: Tendido Bajo, Tendido Medio, and Tendido Alto, each section a little further back, in that order. Spain's version of nosebleed seats is an upper deck called the Andanada, also known as the Tejadillo or the Tendido Cubierto. The general rule is that higher seats cost less, but there are other factors at work.

Sol or Sombra?

Seats are also listed--and priced--according to how much the sun shines on them. The categories are sol (sun), sombra (shade), and sol y sombra (a mix of sun and shade as time passes). Picture the plaza from above: If 12 o'clock is in the sombra, 6 is in full sol, and 3 and 9 experience a mix of sun and shade. Printed on each ticket will be something like Tendido Medio 8, Numero 34, Sol (row 8, seat 34 of the Tendido Medio section in the sun). The sun can be broiling, so it's no wonder sombra tickets cost more. Prices range from as little as $5 for Andanada Sol seats to more than $140 for Barrera Sombra.

Making the purchase

The ticket price is the same throughout an entire section, no matter if it's row 1 or 5. Ticket sellers habitually offer the worst seats first. If you request Tendido Medio, they'll try to sell row 13 even if row 8 is available, so always ask if they have anything lower (más abajo). In Madrid, where there are bullfights every Sunday from April to November at Las Ventas bullring, tickets go on sale at the box office every Friday for the next bullfight. Tickets marked up by around 20 percent are sold by vendors in the city center, including Teyci, next to the Plaza de Colón, and La Taurina and Localidades Santo Domingo, in the Puerta del Sol area. You can also order tickets online through tauroentrada.com, which adds a $18 charge per seat; the fee covers mailing tickets to any address in Spain (including a hotel). If you're scalping (it's illegal but rarely enforced), haggle as much as possible, using the price on the ticket as a reference point. If it's a weekday and the event has already begun, a scalper will unload tickets for cheap (ushers won't seat you until there's a break).

Enjoy the show

"Seats" are really just spots on a cement block, so rent a cushion (about $1.25) inside the bullring. Food and drinks are sold on the premises, too, but most people bring their own wineskins, bread, and chorizo. Sometimes the cheap seats are the most fun. There's often plenty of food and wine, as well as leathery old-timers wearing berets, smoking cigars, and heckling bad bullfighters.

 

Pjk

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hijo
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Posted: 16 January 2006 at 10:31am | IP Logged Quote hijo

Pjk: thanks.

Where'd you get the bullfighting info? It looks vaguely familiar, like maybe Frohmer's?

Our (my wife and I) abono seats were near the ticket you show - we were in Andanadas 4, Fila (row) 3. My seat was official #31, while my wife's was like #22.

The first sentence of the article you quote really ought to be modified for accuracy, however: the bulls hardly, if ever, make it out alive. But the rest of it is pretty accurate.

Not sure (as I'm not sure when or if the Ronda trip is actually this year) there will be any bullfighting in the Maestranza in Ronda at the time of the trip. Bullfighting in Spain is actually seasonal, except for some novice (novillero) fights and special events.

Compared to Las Ventas, the Madrid ring, the ring at the Maestranza, and the seating, appears substantially smaller - Ronda isn't nearly as big (it's a village, still, essentially) as Madrid, and its fan base isn't nearly as big either.

But you can still see the small, 2x2 ledge running around the inside of the ring's barrera (I recall it was painted white?) for the early banderilleros to stand on when preparing to place their twin banderillas in the bull's hide.

Thanks for the read.

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hijo
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hijo
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Posted: 16 January 2006 at 10:34am | IP Logged Quote hijo

Pjk:

By the way, for anyone interested, you could do far worse than getting a ticket at Tendido 9, (as shown in Peter's post) at any level. It is near 7, where the rowdies usually sit, but it is one of the best locations as the matadors often bring their bulls over to show their skill to the rowdies.

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hijo
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2thman
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Posted: 16 January 2006 at 9:43pm | IP Logged Quote 2thman

Glad to be back. I never really went away.  We just have a 2 year old who keeps us so busy that internet time is a luxury. 

Concerning the bulls making it out alive, we were fortunate enough to see another indulto last summer in El Puerto de Santa Maria.  Ponce again!  I saw him indultar in 2003 there also.  It was really a magical faena.  They played the highlights at the end of Tendido Cero set to music.  Amazingly, the aficionados were whistling to throw the bull out at the beginning because it seemed so uncoordinated.  It actually did a "summersault".  Ponce made the bull good and he got better as he went.  He got the crowd so excited that the presidente had no choice but to give him the indulto and Ponce made sure he got it.  He wasn't going to leave without it. 

Chances are you will never see an indulto, especially if you go to Las Ventas.  I'm sure they don't give them out so easy there.  I like the idea and wish they would give them more often, although most of my Spanish friends don't like them except in extreme cases.

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Peter Krynicki
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Posted: 17 January 2006 at 1:38pm | IP Logged Quote Peter Krynicki

A frined of mine sent it to me and I think she said it was from Fromer's.. She's looking at going to Ronda and likes to buy every book at B&N about places she is going. I just go.

 

Pjk

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