The bridge in Ronda.
We first saw this bridge on a random online site. The bridge caught our attention and we had to find out where it was. With the wonders of the internet, it didn’t take long to find it and arrange to go see it for ourselves.
Ronda turned out to be a beautiful little town in the mountains of Spain. It is one of the Pueblos Blancos, or white villages of Spain. Pueblos Blancos are a series of towns in the mountains that are all whitewashed with red tile roofs. This coloring makes them really stand out against the green hills! It also makes the Puente Nuevo, (new bridge) even more dramatic. The bridge was completed in 1793 and joins together the old part of Ronda with the new.
We were lucky enough to get a hotel room that had an amazing view. The hotel Don Migual is located right next to the bridge, we had a room with a balcony that overlooked the Puente Nuevo. We arrived in Ronda hours before check-in time but the hotel has a locked area to store luggage before check-in. They also parked our car for us so we were free to explore the town without wasting any time.Ronda is beautiful and people fall in love with this little town. Orson Welles’ ashes are buried in a villa in Ronda where he used to spend his vacations. Ernest Hemingway spent time in Ronda, he was quoted as saying”Ronda is the place to go, if you are planning to travel to Spain for a honeymoon or for being with a girlfriend. The whole city and it’s surroundings are a romantic set. …Nice promenades, good wine, excellent food, nothing to do…”
I don’t think I agree with the nothing to do part but the rest is spot on. Ronda is beautiful and romantic, the people there are very welcoming. Our only regret is not planning more time there. Guess we’ll just have to go back!
We spent our first day hiking down to the bottom of the gorge after a quick stop at a little butcher shop to have sandwiches made for the hike. I was pretty proud to accomplish a reasonable lunch order in spanish! The views all the way down were spectacular. We were there in May and there were fields of wildflowers at that time of year. It took us a good two hours to hike to the bottom. It’s really not that far, but there were so many pictures to take along the way!
The next day we walked around and explored the town itself. We could have easily spent a week in Ronda but we filled up the two days we actually had. I could imagine spending a whole day on a balcony overlooking the gorge, with a good book, and a good wine!
The New Bridge in Ronda is what sent us exploring in Andalusia Spain, we actually spent our first days in Spain in Seville. We arrived after an 11 hour flight followed by a 6 hour car ride. It was a crazy long day but it afforded us an extra day in Seville. Of course arriving in the evening, we ate dinner at an Italian restaurant in the hotel and went to bed. In the morning we woke up refreshed and ready to go!
We headed to the old part of Seville, we wanted to start out with the cathedral and the Alcázar. The Seville cathedral is the third largest church in the world and the largest gothic cathedral in the world.
The Alcázar is a royal palace in Seville. Built by the Moors, it is considered by many as the most beautiful building in Spain. The Alcázar gardens are almost a whole day trip by themselves. This palace and garden are depicted as the Land of Dorn in Game of Thrones. It’s like magic, you enter the Alcázar through a doorway in a tall orange wall and step into A space that doesn’t seem quite real. I can’t even imagine how much time and work went into creating this wonderful place! Every room seems to be trying to out do the room before it. The pictures can’t do it justice and as a photographer, I rarely make that statement.
After exploring for hours we left the Alcázar feeling that we had just had a once in a lifetime experience. Even if we return we will never see the Alcázar again for the first time.
We ate lunch downtown and went back to the hotel for a siesta. The Spaniards take this break in the day very seriously, since everything closes and it’s not the best lighting for photography, it’s pretty easy to get used to a nap before the evening activities. It’s customary in Spain to have tapas, or small plates of food with a glass of wine at around 8:00 and dinner at about 10:00pm. We usually had so much fun enjoying the huge variety of tapas that we were way too full to eat “dinner”.
Our time in Spain was incredible . It is a beautiful country with wonderful people. We will return to see Madrid and Barcelona some day. This was the first time we traveled to a country where neither of us spoke the language beyond the very basic “where’s the bathroom” and “can I have a beer please”. This trip took that hesitation away. Now we know we can go anywhere and make ourselves understood. Usually the native speakers of any language are happy to help if you try to speak to them in their language.