Thursday, January 3, 2013

Slippin' and Slidin' in the Bullfighting Stadium

Bogotá's Plaza de Toros, La Santamaria, is experiencing an uncharacteristic kind of display these days. Instead of sand, there's ice. And instead of bullfighters facing off against bulls, there are young people slipping and sliding. The performers may be less graceful, but they look like they're having lots more fun.

Normally, January and February are Bogotá's bullfighting season. But Mayor Gustavo Petro announced an end to bullfighting in the Santamaria. The bullfighters went to court and won when a judge ruled last year that cities could not ban bullfighting where it's traditional. Petro responded that he's not banning bullfighting, but just not renting out the plaza, which belongs to the city.

Many suspect that Petro arranged the ice skating as an excuse not to allow bullfighting. In other years, they put an ice skating rink in Plaza Bolivar, where it looked strange between Congress, the Cathedral and the Supreme Court.
A few minutes' observation makes clear that this is Bogotá, not Quebec or Holland. Few of the Bogotanos slippin' and slidin' around have ice skated before.

Try, try again.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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