Ronda

Wow! Huge towering cliffs over a gorge with a very high arched bridge between the old and newer parts of the town. This place is impressive!

Daytime and nighttime the bridge between the old and new parts of Robda is impressive. So high. With multiple arches and a single little room in the middle just under the top. 

And, this was the view from our apartment! THE bridge. Beside and under our apartment were restaurants with their awnings, the only impediments to an already almost perfect view of the bridge.

Whichever view you have of it, the height of the bridge, towering over the gorge dividing the town is magnificent. Magnificent.


So is the town, with some of the newer parts on the edge of the cliff.


From our terrace you can see both ways along the gorge. To the left is a cow, stationary for our 3 days there, permanently looking up the gorge towards the bridge.

We caught the train here from Córdoba, through gradually growing hills to even larger and higher hills, through huge and plentiful olive groves. And then, Ronda.

Ronda is full of white, or other pale, coloured Andalusian houses, often with a yellow trim. And the edges of town, cliffs. Real cliffs with city walls below the less steep parts of the old town. 

Not bad security for a town: cliffs, gorge and with added walls, a lot less to defend. Even better if there is a reliable water source that can be defended, as in Ronda. 

Our apartment is about as close as you can be to the new bridge and gorge way down below, hundreds of metres lower. Better still, it’s not €0000 per night like the Paradore, almost across the street from us. 

We can watch our own tourist show from our balcony daytime, nighttime. No one is on the bridge early morning as the moon sinks down behind the new town. As long as we keep clothes on, pull one blind down overnight, here is the best location ever. Over the gorge is a very busy viewing platform. Very busy from about 10.30 every day, once the day tripper buses pour in.

Used the washing machine this morning. Nothing unusual except it is a top loader. Inside it has a weird barrel and you have to undo a metal access door to load your clothes. Weird. Still, same number of items came out as went in so, it’s not a sock eater.

Lots of interesting places to walk around here. Down through the ‘new’ town to the two other bridges. Forget the Arab baths. ‘Arab ruins plus imagination and a few signs’, is more like it. 


And, a statue of the gypsy queen from mid 1800s to early 20th century. I wondered what she did that merited a statue.


Head off to the tenth century hermitage. Be warned about that: great walk, no tourists and only locals walk or run the road to it. From that route you get a great view of the cliffs, new bridge and the old and new parts of Ronda. Oh, the heritage? New sign leaving town, very old sign where you turn off the Main Street and once you get to the end of the road its on: signs that say private and, no walking plus a chain blocking access over the track. So much for the hermitage! The small roadside flowers are beautiful now, in mid spring. 

Backtrack and walk down past the old mill beside the river that flows under the new Ronda bridge. Mill is a cafe and albergue. Great sitting there and looking over at the waterfall from under the bridge, and down a bit. I ordered a coke and asked a question. The question was answered in a very broad Scottish accent, not expected! 

Inevitably you have to walk back to town to where you are staying. The path up from the mill is cobblestoned with some concrete patches. Most interesting is how polished the stones are, how there are just so many tourists here. 

Tourists have been the mainstay of Ronda for a very long time. They are everywhere! 

Part of the grand tour for young European and British professionals or layabouts in the mid 1850s, not much has changed. Some things, like the composition of groups, no longer just languid young men writing poetry or books but tourists of all ages from over the world.

And, I’ve decided. One more tourist ambling along a too narrow footpath and I’ll scream, shrivel up or….  
Thank heavens we are leaving here tomorrow. I know why this apartment is rented out. No sane person could live in it for more than 3 nights. 

Look out windows: see tourists. 

Walk onto balcony: see tourists. 

Walk out into street: see tourists. Even worse, I’m one too!

Look at menus: mostly tourist junk, tourist priced and with english translations. Dead give away, proof too many tourists cannot be a good thing. 
What to do? Out walk g and I found three dogs, all very excited as I walked towards them. Their ‘cage’ is a small front yard of a house and it’s not clear if anyone lives there at present. On the ground inside was a small jack russell looking puppy, just a few weeks old and clearly used to being walked over as the older dogs disappeared into a small shelter in the yard as I walked closer. People here are clearly as besotted by their dogs as we are. Good watchdogs. 

And, thinking of dogs, ‘ if he can’t do it, you have to’…..


Next stop: the next most westerly tourist mecca, Cadiz! Yes. More of us yet. 

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