Wednesday, July 9, 2008
RONDA: June 23-24
Ronda is another relatively small town (pop. 35,000) in southern Spain. Like most of the rest of southern Spain, it was first settled by the Romans, then the Moors, and finally the Catholics in 1485. The city is divided by a huge, 400-ft. deep gorge, which is spanned by the "Puente Nuevo." It's funny that they call it the "New Bridge" seeing as how its construction started before the U.S. Constitution was adopted. Anyway, the gorge is absolutely amazing, and it's crazy to think that they were able to build that bridge so long ago. What's even crazier is that buildings are just hanging over the gorge. Our hotel rooms opened up over the gorge, and I'm still wondering how Nina slept at night knowing our rooms were 400 feet above solid ground.
Also interesting is the bullring, which was designed by the same dude who designed the Puente Nuevo - it's also the oldest bullring in Spain. Pretty cool.
The first night we just walked around, grabbed some dinner, and took in the town. We got to see the sunset across the gorge and the valley beyond. It was one of the prettiest I've seen (still doesn't beat looking out across the water at PK though). The next morning, my mom and I got breakfast on the patio over the gorge and fed the birds, which also happened to be some of the bravest birds I've ever encountered. They would fly right up to the table and sit on the chair next to us until we put some food on the table for it to grab. We'd run into another comical bird in Granada (look for a video of that in the next few days). While we walked around the city, we found another sweet view of the valley on another side of town. After a while, we went to a cave about 40 minutes outside of town that had some prehistoric paintings. It was pretty neat, and a nice break from the heat. We also met a Dutch couple and their kid - they were very nice and we talked with them for at least half an hour while waiting for the cave tour. It was funny too because he had recently visited Phoenix - small world, huh?
After the caves, we headed out of Ronda to drive toward the beach city of Nerja...
Gorge at sunset.
Looking across the Puente Nuevo.
The Puente Nuevo.
The building on the right side of the Puente Nuevo is our hotel, and you can see the patio where we ate breakfast (and maybe our rooms' windows, not sure which were ours).
Looking out further down the gorge.