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Bullfighting in Spain – Celebration or Condemnation

Find out why we made the conscious decision to watch the bullfighting in Spain at the San Fermin festival. We want your opinion too.

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Festival of San Fermin, Running with the Bulls Video, Pamplona

Warning: This post does contain graphic images 

I never thought that I would have to write those words at the top of any of our posts. But I felt it was necessary for this article.

Bullfighting in Spain

I am torn.

I can’t decide whether bullfighting in Spain should be celebrated or condemned. Is it so ingrained in Spanish culture that it should be left alone? Or is it cruelty hidden behind a thin veiled disguise called tradition?

While I don’t condone animal cruelty, I do recognise and celebrate traditions.

Experiencing San Fermin in Pamplona

The reason I love travelling is that you are exposed to so many different adventures.

We are like sponges, soaking up every cultural experience that we can get our jandals close to.

It’s why we chose to run with the bulls in Pamplona. And why we watched the bullfighting in Spain.

Running with the Bulls Pamplona

The San Fermin festival in Pamplona is the most well known bull-running and bullfighting festival in the world thanks to one writer. Ernest Hemingway.

For 8 days every year, hundreds of locals and tourists, including ourselves, pack 800m of narrow cobbled streets in Pamplona. Shoulder to shoulder they stand ready to run in front of a thundering pack of bulls.

It was the most terrifying and exhilarating travel adventure we have ever had.

One I will never do again.

We diced with death once, and that was enough for us.

While we were happy enough to run with the bulls, we were very conscious of our decision to watch the bullfight that evening. But considering that bullfighting has been a part of various cultures for thousands of years, and continues to be, there was no way I was going to miss this opportunity.

Because how can I speak out against what is right or wrong without experiencing it for myself? Who am I to speak out about how other people live their lives in cultures I barely understand?

These are questions I asked myself before we visited Spain.

Experiencing the Bullfighting in Spain

Bullfighting in Spain is one of the most celebrated spectacles in the country.

It is a pre-historic battle of man versus beast.

Bullfighting in Spain

Protestors against bullfighting in Spain call it a blood sport. The Matadors (or torero), and spectators, call it a ‘fine art’, similar to painting, dancing or music.

Each Matador is revered locally while the most famous are recognised nationally. And every man, woman and child that was present at the bullring seemed to be honouring each bull after it was killed.

Bullfighting in Spain Pamplona

While we knew that bulls were killed at the end of each day, we didn’t know anything more than that.

After speaking with a few locals we found out that only the 6 “new” bulls, out of the 12 that ran, are killed each evening in the arena.

These 6 bulls have been specially reared for this very reason. They live in relative luxury with very little human contact before they reach the bullring.

This supposedly makes them much healthier and stronger so that it is a fairer fight between the Matador and the bull. A fight that is virtually impossible for the bull to walk out of the ring a winner.

Bullfighting in Pamplona

Our experience and feelings

The Spanish are passionate with a capital “P”. When we discovered we had somehow secured seats in what seemed to be a locals only zone. We were stoked.

Sitting under the blistering sun we were surrounded by the Spanish singing, cheering and swigging back Sangria like it was going out of fashion.

They were here to celebrate.

They were celebrating what they believe is their right. But they were not celebrating death as they watched the bulls be slaughtered.

And we felt like we were part of the celebrations. We were not merely spectators watching from afar. They welcomed us into their singing circles even though we spoke limited Spanish. Filled our cups up with homemade sangria and fed us when we were hungry from their own picnic supplies.

As we watched the Matadors “dance” with the bulls around the ring I began to understand their passion. They were celebrating life. 

And I agreed with them.

Bullfighting in Spain

Preparing for the killing blow.

I don’t agree that the slow killing of these magnificent beasts is right. At the end of each fight I was willing the Matador’s to deliver the final killing sword strike to end their suffering.

Secretly I was hoping the bulls would get their own back. A goring of the Matador would have been something to see.

But most of all I realised that bullfighting in Spain is so much more than what some call a “blood sport”.

It is a time for friends and family to get together like they have been for the last few hundred years. A time to watch an event that is celebrated nationally.

Not to mention the fact that before their final fight, these bulls probably lead much better lives than the beef that is delivered onto your plate at home, at McDonald’s or in the frozen section of your local supermarket.

It is why I think that, if the majority of the population want to carry on watching bullfighting then they should be allowed to. I would probably even go along to another one.

Let us know in the comments below:

Have you ever witnessed something traditional overseas that you don’t agree with? And what are your thoughts on bullfighting?

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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36 Comments

36 Comments

  1. D.J. - The World of Deej

    September 3, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    I understand the tradition and the spirit of community it brings, but I wouldn’t go to a bullfight. It’s like you said in the end, the bull dies a slow painful death, and that’s not really something I wish to see. I’d rather go to a football match:)

  2. Angela

    September 3, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    I hardly define it a sport, and I hardly feel sorry when a matador is injured. It’s just a slow torture to an animal that never wished to be killed that way with people cheering for it. My experience was actually different, I know and have met many Spanish people, nobody likes/wants this bullfighting tradition to continue, they are actually ashamed of it. Probably the Spanish you saw in the arena are not an exhaustive sample of the whole country..

  3. Bret@ Green Global Travel

    September 3, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    Nope, can’t bear to watch anything suffer. I have no problem with people killing animals for food, as long as it’s done sustainably and humanely. But if a human killed another human the way matadors kill bulls– slowly, torturously, taunting them as they bleed out–– we’d consider them a psychopath, not a hero. I respect cultural traditions in general, but I consider this one barbaric. If you’re going to kill an animal, either slit their throat or put a bullet to the head and get it over with.

  4. Marianne

    September 3, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    It´s a difficult decision. I haven´t ever been to a bullfight, so I guess I´m not qualified to comment, though I don´t really want to go to a bullfight so I can!

  5. Ali

    September 3, 2012 at 10:44 PM

    I went to the running of the bulls in 2000 when I was in Spain for study abroad, and it was interesting to see the bulls run into the arena at the end of it. That part isn’t so bad, no actual bullfighting, just the runners teasing the bulls and often getting flipped around a bunch. But I’m not sure I could handle a bullfight. Not only do I think it’s cruel, but I’m kind of a wuss when it comes to stuff like that. I don’t think I could handle the blood and the torture. At the time, we didn’t go because last minute tickets were outrageously expensive, but I didn’t think much about it beyond that. Now, I’m glad I didn’t and I don’t ever plan to go to one. I love Spain, but I just can’t watch that.

  6. Amanda

    September 4, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    I’m not sure I’d want to go to a bullfight. The whole “very slow death” part would bother me, I think.

    But I’m not one to judge another culture’s traditions just because they don’t mesh with mine.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 13, 2012 at 6:08 PM

      We felt the same Amanda. We were not happy with the “fight” but don’t want to say no to someone else because it is not part of our culture. I am sure they disagree with lots of stuff we do too!

  7. Stephanie - The Travel Chica

    September 4, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    Absolutely not. I went to a bullfight in Mexico many years ago on family vacation (don’t think the parents really knew what we were getting into).

    If it was a fair fight, I could tolerate it. But the fact that they stab the bull with a a spear with some sort of tranquilizer in it as he enters the ring gives the matador an unfair advantage.

    If you want to make killing animals a sport, make it fair. I know who I’m rooting for.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 13, 2012 at 6:07 PM

      Thanks for your thoughts Stephanie. We were cheering for the bull in each “fight” as well.

  8. Mike

    September 8, 2012 at 6:07 AM

    The tradition and the culture the bull fight brings is very understandable, but I wouldn’t go to a bullfight and see how these fighters kill the bull. I’d prefer to watch basketball.

  9. Al

    September 9, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    I love Spain but… sorry the ‘art’ of bullfighting is barbaric!

    The bulls have no chance, there is no fight with the matador being soundly protected by a posse whose sole purpose is to protect the ‘main character’.
    The bulls have no such protection and are slain cruelly, slowly and painfully.

    I attended an ‘amateur’ bullfight in Girona where there were a group of young Canadians (men and women).
    After the first bull was killed the Canadian women burst into tears stating that ‘They didn’t think they actually killed the bulls’!
    After many tears and the killing of the second bull the Canadians departed.
    Eight bulls were tortured that day – one having to endure the rookie attempts of a female matador making that animals death all the more prolonged and agonizing.

    The local ‘butcher’ was on hand to deal with the carcasses and was making a healthy profit selling the slaughtered meat to the locals.

    Every country has it’s traditions and they are entitled to them but.. bull ‘fighting’ is a play on words.

    There is no fight – only a slaughter that I for one cannot understand or tolerate.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 13, 2012 at 6:02 PM

      Thanks for dropping by Al and offering your thoughts on this.

  10. Drew

    September 16, 2012 at 7:17 PM

    I’m with the people here who are opposed to bullfighting. I went to a bullfight in Mexico City years ago, and found it to be very cruel. One of the bulls gored TWO of the bullfighters (I was silently cheering for the bull, truth be told), and it still wasn’t spared. It died a slow, painful, confused death.

    Bullfighting is no different than any other “sport” that involves animals dying…dog fighting, cock fighting, etc. The fact that it’s been a tradition for centuries doesn’t make it more acceptable.

    • Cole Burmester

      September 17, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      Thanks for your thoughts Drew. We were secretly cheering for the bulls as well.

  11. Paulina

    September 22, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    I was taken to bullfights as a child.The music, the ladies in their mantillas throwing roses etc., were exciting. I write this because it is frightening how a person can not have empathy for the bull. I went to quite a few of these fights,seeing the terrified horses being lifted off the ground etc., I even went to the choosing of the bulls by the matadors agents. Then i saw the final knife in the back of the neck and heard the bull’s terrible calls of it’s final distress and agony. I went to my room and thought. I concluded that humans can feed the cruel part of a personality or make the decision to not feed it and to turn against it. I was about 10yrs old. I came out of my room and said that bullfighting was terribly cruel, horrible and that I would never go again. It is so shameful that a government supports this horror, calling it art and I believe that it will die out because young Spaniards agree that it is so shamefull, so horrific and not acceptable for a ‘so called’ civilised society. Along with factory farming, greyhou nd racing, trophy hunting, we who see the beauty in animals must protest and stand up for the protection of our fellow creatures.
    I won’t go there again…

  12. A Cook Not Mad (Nat)

    September 23, 2012 at 4:58 AM

    The only time we’ve seen a bullfight was on a tv channel in France that showed hours of bullfighting. Figured we’d watch and see what it was all about. We watched three bullfights, each time the stadium was almost empty and the bulls had no chance to fight back. Traditions are great but evolution is something to consider in this instance.

  13. emma@greenglobaltravel

    September 24, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    It’s tough one to call because it’s such an old tradition and it does bring people together – but do we really need to do something quite so savage just to bring people together? We’re intelligent enough to know that that’s just not on anymore. THis was an interesting read, though. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Tom @ ActiveBackpacker

    October 3, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Yep, it’s an interesting discussion that’s for sure. There is a big movement in Spain to get bull fighting banned, actually.

    I haven’t seen one myself, so cannot comment on a personal level. I’ve read a bit about it on the net though and I think I’m with the bulls on this one (and don’t think I would go – football is definitely a larger, more popular Spanish tradition!).

    • Cole Burmester

      October 4, 2012 at 5:03 PM

      We totally get that it is extremely cruel. But in our opinion it is quite hypocritical of people to say they should ban it when they eat caged battery hens or cows etc. But again totally different argument! Thanks for your comments Tom 🙂

  15. jules the traveller

    October 5, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Very interesting article and it sounds like you had a fab time! This is a debate that will continue for decades to come much like fox hunting and similar ‘sports’. I haven’t partaken in either so possibly don’t have a fully informed opinion, but my initial reaction is negative. Killing animals for the sake of entertainment doesn’t sit right with me even if it is tradition and does bring people together. There are many other forms of entertainment that bring people together which do not include such brutality which I think I would prefer to be part of.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 5, 2012 at 6:05 PM

      I was just reading about the Fox hunting debate the other day as well. Thanks for your insight Jules.

  16. Alison

    October 7, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    I only recently discovered that they actually kill the bulls in such a horrible way at the end of the fights and this really shocked me. Personally, I could never go to anything like this knowing what takes place, despite it being a cultural tradition. The thought of any living thing being in prolonged pain for entertainment makes me feel ill and I know I’d find it too upsetting.

    • Cole Burmester

      October 8, 2012 at 9:03 AM

      It is horrible how they “bait” the bulls for about 20 minutes each. We were begging them to get it over with by the end.

  17. Yvonne

    October 27, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    I’ve never been to a bullfight and I’m not sure how to feel about it. I can see that it is more a celebration of life, as you describe it, than of death. But curious as I am I think I would go if I have the opportunity and then decide afterwards how to feel about it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

    • Cole Burmester

      October 31, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      I think that you have to experience it before you can judge it. We hated the actual bull killing part, but the atmosphere and celebrations with the locals was amazing. Never done anything else like it!

  18. cheryl howard

    November 5, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    For sure, I could not bear to watch a bullfight and I’m definitely opposed to the killing afterwards.

    But then I think how I cheerily ate a hamburger just last week and I don’t think I have the right to cast judgement as the animal was killed for the purpose of me eating it.

    Regardless, a tough topic and you guys addressed it well. I think it’s nice how you were taken in by the locals to celebrate their traditions. 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      November 8, 2012 at 4:29 AM

      Thanks Cheryl. We knew it was going to be controversial when we posted it and the comments show that! But still glad we stood by our decision to go along and see what the festival was all about.
      And definitely agree that it is hard to judge someone when I think of some of the things that end up on our plates every day and wonder how they go there!

  19. Alexandra

    November 6, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    I think I might be the only person in the comments that would actually go to a bullfight. I am intrigues by the theatrics and drama. I find these types of windows into a countries soul so intriguing and they are one of the things I love most about traveling. I imagine I would feel the same way I did when I saw a royal cremation ceremony in Bali. So colorful and fanciful yet morbid and grotesque the juxtaposition was one of the most memorable things I have witnessed.

    • Cole Burmester

      November 8, 2012 at 4:49 AM

      We feel the same way Alexandra! And thanks for letting us know. We hope you do get to see a bullfight if you ever visit San Fermin, as they are one of the craziest festivals in the world. Looks like their time is running out though as more and more people complain.

  20. Corinne

    February 22, 2013 at 5:03 AM

    I can completely sympathize with the split feelings. I’ve been to a bullfight and yes, cheered and hoped the bull would win. I hated the little darts (picodilos?) that they spear the bull with to weaken him. I think that is the worst of the worst, as you say a slow death. However, I do think culture and tradition are extremely important. In the U.S. and Canada, native peoples are still doing this with whales. Why? To not lose that culture’s traditions. It’s a tough question! Love your post!

    • Cole Burmester

      February 22, 2013 at 8:12 AM

      Thanks so much for your insightful comment Corinne! Like I mentioned in other comments too, when it comes to what we do to other animals, bull-fighting is probably not even the worst treatment of animals!

  21. Nicole @ Suitcase Stories

    April 5, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    I always try and respect and understand the cultures of other countries. But I can not get on board with this. Id never watch on, not in a million years. Its barbaric and inhumane. I can not believe they are still letting this go on!

    Ive always wanted to be that person who accepts all traditions and cultures and even want to get involved when Im in their country but Ill never be able to get on board with this one. But I wont hold it against Spain as a whole, because I know many of them hate this tradition and want it wiped out! Lets hope that happens soon.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 5, 2013 at 9:20 AM

      Thanks Nicole for your comment. It is very true that many in the northeast of Spain don’t agree with the bull fighting but down South, as I understand, it is still very much alive. When I was walking on the Camino last month I was actually surprised to learn that they have a small “running with the bulls” festival in basically every village. Some of them just run with the bulls and don’t kill them which is good!

  22. PamplonaMan

    April 27, 2013 at 7:07 PM

    Hi Cole & Adela,

    Bullfight is an art form & very much part of the culture of Spain as it is always listed on national TV & Newspapers under “Culture & Society” in the media!

    I also agree with you that a bullfight is most definiely a celebration of life!

    Viva San Fermin!

    PamplonaMan

    • Cole Burmester

      May 3, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      Thanks PamplonaMan. It is definitely a controversial topic…

  23. Adam

    October 21, 2014 at 6:23 AM

    I personally abhor it! Even though it’s “tradition”, sometimes you have to move on from the past…

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Adventure Travel

Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos

These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.

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Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.

To be honest, I was relieved.

The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.

Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

Puenta La Reina Bridge – Camino de Santiago Arrows

There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.

Church of Obanos

The Church of Obanos

And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.

The French Way - Camino de Santiago

The French Way – Camino de Santiago Photos

Puenta La Reina

Puenta La Reina in the evening

Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.

Puenta la Reina Bridge and Sunrise

Puenta la Reina Bridge at sunrise

Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!

Church of Santa Maria - Los Arcos

Church of Santa Maria in Los Arcos

While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.

The endless French Way

The endless French Way

Irache Wine Fountain - Fuente del Vino

The free flowing Irache Wine Fountain or “Fuente del Vino”

Hay bales along the French Way

Hay bales along the French Way

Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.

Ermita de San Miguel

Ermita de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.

Natural arches - Camino de Santiago

Natural arches on the Camino de Santiago

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
  • www.middleearthtravel.com

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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Europe

Amsterdam Food Guide

If you think of Amsterdam you don’t think of food. However if you try the food here in our Amsterdam food guide you might get lucky.

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Amsterdam Food Waffles

We are total foodies and our travelling has allowed our passion for food to grow considerably (not to mention our waist lines)!  We love trying new food when we visit foreign countries and always make a huge effort to eat the local cuisine. Check out some of the food we ate below in our cheap and delicious Amsterdam Food Guide.

Amsterdam Food Waffles

We had heard from a number of people that the Amsterdam food was nothing to rave about. To be honest food was not really our main interest in visiting but then again neither was an Amsterdam Peep show and we ended up enjoying that!

However we were pleasantly surprised. I think the people whom we had talked to had it wrong. Sure Holland doesn’t really have a local cuisine but once we got over this fact we realised there is still some damn good food to be had from the various Amsterdam Restaurants.

Amsterdam Food

The best meal we had was actually next door to the Red Light district in Chinatown. Crossing the canal to the east away from the neon lights your nostrils are attacked and your mouth begins salivating from the delicious smells wafting along the narrow cobbled streets.

As we walked into Bird Thai restaurant the enticing aroma hit us instantly leaving us drooling in anticipation. It was definitely up there with some of the best Thai food we have had. We went for the classic Green curry, fried rice and duck combo.

The Green curry was so flavoursome with the richness of the coconut milk blending perfectly with the traditional spices.  The duck was cooked to perfection and for the first few minutes of the meal all you could hear was the crunching of the crispy outside layer as we devoured the duck in minutes. Needless to say the fried rice was a taste explosion too!

Cheap and delicious Amsterdam food is easy to come by. With hangovers and munchies affecting your hunger it is no surprise that there are an abundance of Fast Food chains and takeaways in Amsterdam. In fact it was actually more the way that the fast food was served that surprised us as you could buy it out of massive vending machines at Febo!

Amsterdam Food Febo

Hidden workers stand behind the vending machines churning out burgers, fries and sausage rolls so all you has to do is insert a Euro and “hey presto” you have a hot meal in your hungry hands.

Then there were the frites stores which seemed to be on every corner. The first thing you noticed about these was the tantalising smell. There is nothing like the smell of chips straight out of the fryer and covered in salt to get you tummy rumbling. Served in a triangle cardboard carton and covered in mayo which meant that that you couldn’t reach the chips at the bottom without covering your greedy fingers in sauce. Just a tad annoying!

But there is nothing like hot chips to warm you up on a cold day.

Finally, while hot chocolates are not typically food I feel they still deserve a mention especially because the usually come paired with waffles! Ahhhh the perfect breakfast.

Amsterdam Hot Chocolate

We loved nipping into a cafe or bar like Cafe Bar Eddy in Amsterdam to warm ourselves up with a hot chocolate. It literally tasted like they had melted chocolate down and added cream. Heaven in a cup. And the choice of waffles was daunting as you could have whatever you wanted. Fruit, chocolate, syrups, cream or all of the above!

If you are heading here then don’t expect to find an array of traditional Amsterdam food. Instead treat yourself to a hot chocolate and waffle for breakfast, grab a quick bite from a vending machine and sample some of the different cuisines found near the Red Light District.

If you stick to this Amsterdam food guide then your taste buds will have a great holiday too!

If you have visited before then what did you think of Amsterdam food?

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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