Housesitting, Housesitting in Spain, Life of adventure

A Ronda View

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Our first day exploring in 2018.

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It also just happened to be the first day of a new year.  Of course, being in Spain, it was one with an absence of rain, wind or cloud.  It was time for us to go out, enjoy the sun and stretch our legs.  The main character of our current housesit is our four-legged friend Fudge who was more than eager to read the latest news bulletin from the last visiting dog along the walkway.

Time to go.  Let’s hit the road and head to Ronda.

Where the heck is Ronda?  I hear you ask.  The map below explains where it is situated.

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Once we had parked the car just out of the city, we headed towards the old town.  It was the sort of day to do things in a slow amble sort of way.  With time spent along the way admiring the buildings with the odd architectural piece worthy of a word or two.  Then we came across the reason why we drove here.  It was to see the ironic centrepiece of Ronda.

The  El Tajo gorge.

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Then, of course, it was the buildings that squatted so sturdy on the lip of the cliff. Which unlike most things that perch on the edge of cliffs these structures had nothing about them that screamed fragile, in fact, it was the opposite.  They were robust and proud to function as a working part of this small city.

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After more admiration of how on earth this city was built and the dramatic landscape it was time for refreshment, well for two of us the third had to drool until given a biscuit or two to munch on, by the way, I’m referring to Fudge.

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We found a spot to quickly sip an espresso and a croissant and go.  Yes, not very European of us.   We have never spent such a short amount of time in a cafe in Spain.

Not hard to understand why we believe Ronda to be one of the most unique small cities in Andalusia. We were not the only ones to exclaim Ronda’s place as one to visit as it has certainly had its fair share of famous residents over the years. Both Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles, among many others, found Ronda inspiring enough to take up summer homes here in the Old Town.

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Ronda was also a popular destination for the Viajeros Románticos, which means Romantic Travelers in English, but the Viajeros Románticos were not travelling lovers as the translation suggests. They were travellers in the 18th and 19th centuries who wanted to discover the unspoiled areas of Europe and would take lengthy grand tours that would influence their many pieces of literature and art.

Speaking of unspoiled, Ronda is still one of those rare destinations in Europe that haven’t yet been built up by big businesses or overtaken by the tourism industry. That’s not to say this isn’t a highly popular tourist destination because it indeed is, but at least there aren’t any modern buildings or high rise hotels marring the natural landscape.

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As previously mentioned the reason for our visit was to experience the dramatic and famous El Tajo gorge, a vast canyon cutting off the Old Town of Ronda from the New Town and the three bridges that connect them is what drew us to Ronda.
The “Puente Romano or Puente de San Miguel” (“Roman Bridge or Bridge of St. Michael”), is the original bridge in Ronda, and despite its name, it was initially built by the Moors. It would connect the city to the main northern gate. You’ll find this bridge if you head down towards the old (almost intact) Arab Baths from the 13th and 14th centuries.

The “Puente Viejo o Puente árabe“(“Old Bridge or Arab Bridge”), is the oldest of the three bridges in Ronda. Its origin is controversial but from the few records found it was probably built by the Arabs, and re-built in 1616 after being destroyed by a flood. This bridge would connect the city to the market neighbourhood.

The newest of the three, the “Puente Nuevo” (“New Bridge”), which is actually over 200 years old -finished in 1793- is the one that provides the most stunning views over the Guadalevin gorge. 120m above the river bed, this bridge took 42 years to build. If you are adventurous, you can take a stroll down to the river.

We were quite content to stay on the bridge where the surfaces weren’t as slippery to admire the dramatic scenery of the countryside.  All in all, it was an enjoyable outing, and the nearly 3-hour car ride was worth it.  It was made more memorable with pit stops to view the countryside as we edged ourselves up to the forever climbing road to Ronda.

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85 thoughts on “A Ronda View”

  1. I stopped by courtesy of Susie Lindau. I’m so glad I did! I felt as if I just took a little mini vacation. Beautiful photos, and I’m inspired to add this to my list of someday-I’ll-get-there places. That part of Spain does look quite a bit like Northern California, but of course we don’t have the history here.

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  2. Ronda looks and sounds so lovely & unique . I always think I’ve seen so much of Spain, but then I read your posts and I’m always learning there’s SO much more to explore. Your posts always leave me thinking about what a wonderful country Spain is.

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    1. Thanks Hayley, I think we could spend a lifetime exploring Europe and still only manage see a small fraction. I love our down time housesitting as it gives us time to digest what we have seen. Spain is such a wonderful country, the people, the food and the vistas 🙂 Having said that, all countries have it’s negative and positive sides!

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  3. Oh my, this took me back…For my 50th birthday, Myself and my better half had a (unusually for us) very relaxing holiday. We went to Andalusia and stayed in one of the most beautiful villas in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever experienced. I share the same stunning photographs, we were in awe of the views and the history so I loved reading this post. Beautifully written as ever Suzanne

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  4. Simply breathtaking, Suz! What a brilliant way to start the New Year. You are not only a great writer, you are also an exceptional photographer. Thank you for sharing this with us.

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  5. A fabulous post Suzanne. Gorgeous pictures, and so beautifully described. Love this – ‘ had nothing about them that screamed fragile, in fact, it was the opposite. They were robust and proud to function as a working part of this small city. ‘ You write very well.

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  6. What a gorge-ous place! That bridge is incredible. I hope to visit Spain soon and will definitely put Ronda on our list of places to visit. They obviously don’t have earthquakes there like we do in California – thank goodness – I doubt that those buildings would still be standing.

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    1. Hahaha, yes those Spaniards do not like following behind slower drivers. Not as crazy as Turkish motorcyclists who whizz by with no helmets or protective gear!! This road is great compared to many where it is very narrow and passing is still required. I nearly became religious again after that drive!!

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  7. I love towns that are built into cliff tops and gorges, almost as if they’ve sprung up organically as part of the surrounding landscape! Great pictures and information about a town that i never really knew about before!

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  8. What an amazing place Suz! I love the way the buildings are built into the rocks and seem to fit very nicely. We visited somewhere similar in France once and were gobsmacked at how they were built in the first place and how they’ve managed to last the distance over the hundreds of years. I like that (so far) the touristy side isn’t too bad. I loved visiting here with you today 🙂

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