IT was a law as inviolable as a handful of the 10 commandments. Spain revolved around it.
Most certainly the higher echelons of the business community that controlled all the monopolies, price of flour, rates for electricity, prices for cement or steel.
It was reputedly all decided in April in Sevilla. More importantly was the fact no man in those days that wore a suit in public would not miss training his secretary, wife or whoever was in reception, to alert the world – obviously he wasn’t around and need not be looked for. “Well, look at the calendar, it’s the Feria in Sevilla.”
Nothing more need be said. The entire Spanish world knew anyone who thought himself anything on the totem pole of suits had to be in Sevilla, or at worst not seen in his village or local town.
The Feria is indeed one of the great events in Spain to be viewed, especially with foreign eyes. It follows immediately the solemn processions of Easter week and everyone cuts lose. You are considered suspect if you leave early for home before the sun rises. The buckets of sherry consumed all night before are sealed with thick hot chocolate wherein you can dip your churros.
Sometimes a quick café is knocked back if you have a drive or long walk to your hotel. Then it is rest and divine sleep until about two hours before the next corrida. A week’s time for the strongest to compete in the flurry of whirling gypsy dresses and mouthfuls of jamon.
But, it’s Sevilla and it rolls for three convincing and intrepid weeks that will be but a blurred montage for even the best fortified souls. A terrific ‘show and no tell’ parade shared with your most intimate friends.
Sevilla remains the emotional capital of Spain and to walk within the sounds and constant buzz, you are blessed. A top five for anyone’s bucket list.
The beasts in the ring are gargantuan and mean. As a matador, to cut ears in this plaza means contracts for the year.
Yet, it’s quiet this year. The ring only half filled some days compared to those glory days when I was once offered €2,000 per ticket on the day of the Miura’s. I can only repeat “tell ‘em it isn’t so Mamma. It can’t be true.” But, it is, changes are happening.