Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ronda, Spain

With a population of 40,000 residents, Ronda is considered the largest of the pueblos blancos (white villages) in Andalusia. And from what I have seen on several videos and photos, it looks spectacular.

Today the cliff side setting with its’ gorge spanning bridges is a photographer’s dream. Historically speaking, its impregnable position was actually one of the last Moorish bastions before finally falling to the Christians in 1485.

The main attractions that I will get to see is the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge), which divides Ronda into the whitewashed old Moorish town (La Ciudad) and the new town (El Mercadillo). The Puente Nuevo was originally built in 1735, but fell after six years and the new bridge was built 1751 to 1793. The bridge is 200 feet wide and straddles a 360 foot ravine called El Tajo. I think I’d better not drink too much cava when crossing the Puente Nuevo!

Ronda is also considered the birthplace of modern bullfighting and it is where the oldest bullfighting Ring (Plaza de Toros) is located. In the early 1700s Francisco Romero established the first rules of modern bullfighting and introduced the famous scarlet cape. For 6 Euros I can visit the bull ring, stables, chapel and museum.

They say that at night when all the day trippers disappear the town of Ronda is quite peaceful. There are a couple of hikes down to the gorge that I can even do which will give me some of those spectacular views of the Puente Nuevo. I think it will be fun exploring Ronda during the day and evening. They say that my hotel (San Miguel) is located right on the edge of the Gorge and it’s restaurant/bar has some of the most spectacular views. Cool!

I also read that there is a fabulous train line from Ronda to Algeciras which is considered one of the best journeys in Andalusia as it takes you through such towns as Gaucin and past some of the most beautiful towns of San Roque and Jimena de la Frontera. Very Cool!

I found this really cute video. I liked it for it's subtle humor. Also, you can see the train ride views and some other things I hope to be seeing on my visit.


  1. Ronda is an amazing white village but that bridge gives me the willies ;-)

    I'm excited that you'll be staying in Ronda and that you'll be going down to the gorge. You'll have some wonderful photographs with a different perspective from below.

    Are you planning on seeing a bullfight?

  2. Hi Maria, yes for you I think the bridge will give some willies. They stop the bullfighting I think in September or October so no bull fights which might be a good thing for me. I do want to see the bullfighting ring and learn about the history and see all the matador costumes though.

    I just checked your blog and see that you have 5 days . . . I'm very excited for you and I am really looking forward to hearing about your experiences in Venice (with Anne), Spain (after all these years) and Morocco (Did you read Tom & Judy's Papillon blog). They have some awesome photos of their trip there. Looks like an awesome trip you have.

    Have a great week Maria! Enjoy the final countdown days.

  3. 31 days isn't long at all!

    This sounds like a cool place. I think seeing a bull fight would give me more willies than that bridge would. :) But the gorge (and your hotel with the great view) sound very cool. You are going to have a blast taking photos!

    Happy Monday!

  4. Hi Annie, yes Ronda looks pretty cool. I have tremendous respect for the Spanish culture and traditions, but I think I would feel uncomforatble watching a real live bullfight. I am, however, very interested in the history and would enjoy visiting the bull ring and the museum. That would be cool. Until I saw that second video I really wasn't sure what I would plan to do in Ronda and then with a little more research I now think I have several very interesting things that'll keep me busy and highly entertained! :) It'll be fun.

    BTW, I saw the Spain On the Road Again episode last night. I had no idea Gweneyth was so fluent in Spanish. She's pretty good. I enjoyed the episode. I guess in 31 days I'll have my own Spain On The Road Again Trip. Only for me it'll be by train and not a mercedes! :)

    Have a great week Annie!

  5. Kathy, Ronda looks extraordinary! I can't believe that gorge and the bridge across. This will be a fascinating trip!

    BTW, I was thinking about you last night -- I watched a movie from last year, Goya's Ghosts. It was set at the end of the 18th century in Spain, and starred Natalie Portman and Javier Bardem. A kind of fictionalized account of Goya's interactions with the Inquisition in its dying days before Napoleon rolled into Spain.

    Very vivid and from the reviews I read this morning on Rotten Tomatoes, people either loved it (Roger Ebert and the New York Times) or hated it. It was pretty fascinating and the way the camera lingered on Goya's art was remarkable!

  6. Hi Sandra, yes isn't that visual of the bridge and gorge amazing. I have really been enjoying my research on Spain a lot. I think writing about what I am learning about is helping me so much. It's going to be so great to see all the things I've only read about on paper in real life.

    Goya's Ghosts sounds very interesting. Plus I have become such a big fan of Javier Bardem ever since watching Volver. It's available on Netflix so I'll add it to my queue. I'm still waiting for Sister Wendy to arrive which Annie recommended on her blog. In her Grand tour she visits the Prado Museum which I plan to visit in Madrid. I have been studying some of the Spanish artists and I have Goya's work on my "must see" list as well as Greco and Velazquez. After I return Sister Wendy, I'm hoping they can send Goya's Ghosts before I leave. Watching these two DVD's go well together I think.

    Thank you so much for passing on your recommendation. I think I will like it too.

    Have a great evening Sandra!

  7. I think I would be a little wary of crossing that bridge also. BUT it sure is gorgeous! I enjoyed the videos. Ronda looks like a very cool place to visit. I have never heard of this place before. I can't wait til you start blogging about your travels there!

  8. Hi Girasoli, that bridge and gorge really looks picture perfect. I hope I can find an internet in Ronda to post once I've crossed it! :)

    30 days now . . . I'm beginning to understand what you meant when you wrote about watching your countdown clock as your trip came closer. :)

  9. Hi Kathy,

    I read somewhere that Gwenyth Paltrow was an exchange student in Spain in high school and that's when she learned the language.

    Yes, your "on the road again" adventure is coming up soon!

    And about the debates...Obama/Biden are 3 for 3, as far as I'm concerned. If the election was tomorrow, Obama would win. But there's still a lot of time left and I don't trust the Republicans not to get very dirty. But I hope and pray that good will prevail!

    Hope you're having a good week!

  10. Hi Annie, thanks for the information on Gwenyth. I didn't know that. That's pretty cool.

    Soon is right . . . 29 days. Less than a month, Wow!

    And in 26 days we get to vote a brand new President & Vice-President! I totally agree that Obama/Biden is 3 for 3 on the debates. Obama did really well last night, I thought even better than on the first debate. I think the negative attacks will unfortunatey continue as they have nothing to lose. I'll join you in hoping and praying that everyone will make the right choice come November 4.

    BTW, Sister Wendy was supposed to arrive today according to Netflix, but I didn't see her DVD in the mail. I'm hoping tomorrow! :) The week is doing pretty good. I hope you're having a good week too!

  11. I hope Sister Wendy arrives tomorrow! I can't wait to hear what you think about her.

    Maria the kitten had her female surgery done today. She is doing fine and seems to feel okay, but I am supposed to try to keep her quiet and still (an impossible task!). I gave her a sedative but it didn't do anything to stop her from trying to run and play! I finally got her to lay in my lap and rest a bit. She is crazy!

    I'm taking a sick day tomorrow so I can stay home with her.

    Oh, I went in Costco this week and they have this big purple coffee table book about Prince. But I couldn't look at it because it was sealed up in plastic. Have you seen it?

    Have a good Thursday!

  12. Hi Annie, oooh Maria is such a character. I'm glad she is doing okay after her surgery and is now resting comfortably. She is such a cool kitten. Probably a good thing for you to stay with her to make sure that she is okay and that she rests.

    I'm going to have to get that book!A friend got me this very cool Prince tambourine for my collection! I'll have to post a photo of it one day just for fun! :) This book will be a great addition to my Cool One collection! Thanks so much for the tip!

    Have a nice evening Annie! Hope Maria has a restful night.

  13. Hi Kathy, I just read your "It's getting closer" entry and wow, only three weekends away makes it seem even closer than the days. Sounds like you are very well-prepared and know exactly what you need to do to get all your ducks in a row.

    Maria is doing great. She seems to feel just fine and even though she's not as quiet and inactive as I wish, she is spending some nice quiet time in my lap.

    Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

  14. Hi Annie, thanks for the encouragement. I just get a little nervous before each trip . . . but I'm sure that every traveler does.

    Thanks for the update on Maria. I'm so glad that she is resting well and doing fine. I'm sure her quiet restful moments and your TLC is helping in her recovery. Soon she'll be back to her wild child self again! It still cracks me up thinking about the missing earring episode! :)

    I have an extra long weekend, so it's been pretty good so far. Monday is a holiday and I have Tuesday off. I'll probably devote those days to my trip preparations.

    I hope you're having a great long Holiday weekend too! I'll send good thoughts to Maria for her continued recovery.


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.