The 2-hour train-ride from Algecirus to Ronda went quickly given the long nap! The sun rose over the sierra nevada as we entered the town of Ronda. We loaded our packs on our backs and hiked from the train station to the hotel....the city and the hotel were a VERY nice change from base-camp in Algecirus (I call it Algestinkus).
As usual, we placed our packs in storage until the afternoon check-in and were quickly on foot to explore the lovely town. Given the short stay (one whole day), we chose only the top sites to see,the Puento Nuevo (new bridge) and the Plaza de Toros (bull-ring). While I don´t particularly like my days packed and planned for every minute, these historical sites couldn´t be missed. I also new we´d have a regular 2 hour break for lunch. What a fabulous way of life!!!
Monica led us around the town to point out sites of interest before we went out and about on our own. Our first stop was a breath-taking view of the Guadalevin River Gorge with the mountains as a backdrop. Simply spectacular.
To share a brief history, Ronda was originally inhabited by the Romans, but was later invaded by the Muslim forces in the year 711. The architecture, once again is a mixture of styles. In the late 15th century, the Christian forces conquered the town after a 7-day seige. The town grew and prospered which increased the need for more land. This need led to the next amazing construction....the Puento Nuevo. This project took approximately 40 years to complete and it is one amazing bridge! You must do an Internet search for the bridge to see this magnificent structure. You too will also be amazed.
Well, 2pm came quickly....time for lunch! I don´t think I can say how much I love this way of life enough times! Kaylene and I were drawn to the beautiful Restaurant del Escudero (shielding man - like a matador- I think)with a phenomenal, picturesque view of the valley and mountains. The table setting was in a terraced garden. Thanks to Rick Steves and Lonely Planet, we chose this location, as they both agree the food and prices were excellent. This 3-course meal was well worth the 15 E and the dessert with raspberry sauce was irresistable....Mmmmm.
Just across from the restaurant was the Plaza de Toros, the home bullring of the famous bullfighter Pedro Romero. Each year, Ronda hosts a Feria and Corrida Goyesca, a celebration of bullfighting past and present. While I am intrigued by the sport, it seems a bit inhumane and a sight, I do not wish to experience.
That´s all for now...I am off to enjoy the cool night air...hasta luego amigos.... See you in Cordoba!