Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Espana - Ronda - Tuesday November 14, 2006

Ronda is located in the mountains near Marbella and half the fun getting there is taking the winding roads. The sky was somewhat overcast as we travelled to and from Ronda but with the Mediterranean in the background the view from the mountain roads was spectacular.

The Puente Nuevo "New Bridge" (built in late 1700s) over the river Guadalevin is the symbol of Ronda. It bridges two parts of the city over a 300 foot deep gorge. Ronda is one of the oldest towns in spain with caves and relics dating back to the stone age. Located near Ronda is the archeological site of the Roman town Acripa. Also, Ronda is the home to bullfighting. Starting approximately 500 years ago the tradition of men challenging bulls in battle originated in Ronda.

We learned from our trip to Granada to not try to navigate the entire city by car ... it's just too frustrating unless you are a local, so we parked and walked into town and came across an old hotel called "El Tajo" that looked like it would be a wonderful place to stay but we asked for suggestions for tourists and the hotel manager gave us a small map that proved to be excellent in guiding us. We used the map to take us down the main shopping streets (closed to autos) and plazas, as well as, the Puerto Nuevo, and the various churches and other sites. Standing at the edge of the city and looking into the fields below provided a perspective that I would imagine has not changed in a thousand years.

Ronda turned out to be my favorite city to visit. True it was not next to the Mediterranean but the history, architecture, and relaxed lifestyle was beautiful.

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