Thursday, June 26, 2008

one more about Spain

On our last full day in Spain we visited the mountain town of (everybody get ready to roll your r's!)Rrrrrrrrrrrronda. Another reason I fell in love with this region of Spain is that an hour's drive away from the beach you find yourself getting nauseous thanks to the hairpin curves only found in the mountains. (Ok, maybe I didn't like the nausea part.) It felt strange to be bringing sweaters with us when it was so hot in Marbella but we found we really needed them once we stepped off the bus in Rrrrrrronda (no I can't stop!).

Rrrrrronda is located on a plateau and divided between "Old Ronda" and "New Ronda," but you can imagine that New Ronda wasn't exactly built last week. The town is surrounded on all sides by magnificent views, of which I only got a few because my camera battery refuses to stay charged for longer than six hours at a time.


Then we visited the bullfighting arena, which includes an interesting museum (with explications in both Spanish and English) and you can even cast a glance through the rest of the facility while you're there.



After lunch (taken jokingly at the heure française by our hosts; I reckon noon was closer to snack time for them) and another pause for dessert in a beautiful square, we began what I like to call Running the Ronda Gauntlet. First we went on a walk through the old part of town, through a gorgeous park that was at a forty-five degree angle with steps I can only compare to the steps leading to Sacre Coeur in Paris, and back to the square. Then we had a hour to do as we pleased before an actual tour guide took charge of us. (Stéph and I opted to sit down at a café, thankyouverymuch.)

The guide then took us through the highlights of town - in the "New Bridge" that connects Old Ronda and New Rhonda, a typical home of a Spanish aristocrat with the most amazing garden I've ever seen, a museum celebrating the town's Moorish roots, and the cathedral where a wedding was in full swing.

Of course, I don't have pictures of any of these things, as my camera died just before the tour started. Typical.

All in all, Ronda is a town I would love to visit again and see at a bit of a slower pace. Actually, the whole region of Costa del Sol is a place I'd like to revisit one day. Stéph and I are not beach bunnies in any stretch of the imagination, but we love that there are so many interesting places to visit and such a wide variety of things to see in such a close proximity. I do hope that someday we'll visit the region again.

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