Published: March 1st 2012February 26th 2012
Today was an amazing day! We woke up and meandered down to Màlaga and caught a coach to Ronda. The bus ride took about an hour and a half through mountainous roads, but Ronda is really only about 65 km west of Màlaga (as a crow flies). The little villages in the Andalusian mountains have a very distinct, whitewashed, look to them. These little white villages are called the Pueblos Blancos.
Ronda is famous for being the oldest city in Spain and for having some amazing bridges which spans the El Tajo Canyon, which is over 100 metres deep, and very impressive! The city is separated in two by the gorge, and is connected by three bridges: the Puente Romano (Roman Bridge, built in the 14th century), Puente Viejo (Old Bridge) and the Puente Nuevo (New Bridge, which was completed in 1793). We spent most of our time enjoying the sunny day and examining the canyon from the top on either side of the city, the middle and from below. We walked over the old bridge and the new bridge, and along the walkways on either side.
After we explored from above, we explored the old part of the
town, full of white buildings, and narrow, cobblestone streets. We stopped for lunch in a nice little square called the Plaza Duqesa de Parcent. Elysia tried the spanish omlette (which was part of a tourist menu that also came with Gezpacho, cold tomato soup, and ice cream). Mike had another go at the paella and found that it was much tastier up in the mountains. It was an outdoor little restaurant which kept moving the tables and chairs further onto the street into the sun as parts started to get shady. When we started to eat we were on the outside edge of the seating area, and when we finished all the tables had been moved out further than us, so we were on the inside. Just like in Malaga, we tried to practice the little bit of spanish we know (Elysia understands it more because of her Italian, but we can't say the words). People definitely enjoyed our attempts at speaking spanish, and unfortunately we weren't as prepared as we were in Peru with our spanish phrasebook, so it wasn't as fun trying.
After lunch we decided to go for a hike down the hill and around the
base of the cliff that the town sat upon, heading towards the bottom of the gorge. We meandered through the countryside a bit, until we reached a trail that headed into the gorge. It was really beautiful to be so up close and personal with the gorge and the beautiful bridge. As words cannot describe, you will have to have a look at the pictures! It was quite a warm day, so when we were done with our hike we headed back up to town for some water, and then walked through another little park that had a bird sanctuary and decorations left over from carnivale a few weeks earlier. Then we headed back to the bus, after having been wandering around Ronda for a good 6 and a half hours.
In sum, we spent most of day admiring the beauty of the city and its unique placement on top of a gorge. Definiately a place to visit on a sunny clear day. What a beautiful weekend!! We didn't leave until Monday morning this time, so we were able to have a nice breakfast on our terrace before leaving for the airport in the morning.
There are more photos below