Entries Tagged as 'W EUR- SP, Ronda'

Ronda- Plaza Abela to Mondragon Palace

Ronda is one of the beautiful white towns of Spain.  You just don't see too many towns as peaceful and clean as this.

This contrasts greatly from the Ronda of a few hundred years ago, when it was a stronghold of outlaws, who distinguished themselves by the bandanas they wore on their heads.  When they weren't holding up stagecoaches, they were getting drunk in the town's taverns, planning their next score.

Getting back to the present, I started out the day by the delightful fountain on the Plaza Abela.  Here, families enjoy eating at the plaza's cafes and socializing with each other.  Rarely have I see so many baby strollers in one place at a time!  If I haven't mentioned this yet, the Spanish people tend to be very social.

Then I headed down the town's narrow lanes until until I came upon the Mondragon Palace on Plaza Mondragon.  I enjoyed its pleasant courtyard, flowers, and views of the valley below.

Last of all, I decided to take a stroll down Ronda's dark, tranquil streets.  Not a bad way to end the day!

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Ronda- The New Bridge and Gorge

The New Bridge in Ronda was completed in 1793, and it was quite a beautiful brick structure.  It also looked very sturdy, wedged between two mountains.  Not being an engineer, though, I wouldn't want to be caught on it during an earthquake!

On a much more serious note, during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930's, several people were chucked off the bridge and into the Ronda Gorge for being on the wrong side of the political spectrum.  This chilling story was related in Ernest Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls."

Looking down into the gorge for me as a tourist, on the other hand, was amazing!  It was well over 300 feet deep, and at the bottom, there was much greenery, and pools of deep blue water.  Stunningly beautiful place! 

Perfect place to kick back with a bottle of coke and a small bowl of olives, enjoying the best view in town.  So that is just what I did!

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Ronda- Ronda Bullring

The Ronda Bullring(on Virgen de la Paz) is the oldest purpose-built bullring in the world, bar none.  Every matador who has ever lived has dreamt of performing here, the most famous of which are immortalized in bronze.

I could just imagine what it must have been like being in the sold-out stands, the crowd cheering.  Down below me I see women in beautiful dresses, wearing manteas on their heads and holding fans in their hands.  And two rows up from me I see Ernest Hemingway, holding his binoculars in one hand and a sports program in the other.  His book "Death in the Afternoon" is the classic work on the art of bullfighting for English-speaking people.

Then the bull is released in the ring, and the crowd gasps!  After the matadors assistants wear down the bull, the matador comes out in his suit of lights, and the crowd cheers!  The matador does his best to anger, frustrate, and tire the bull, using his wits, athletic ability, and cape.  Ole!  Ole!  Ole!

And at the end, the matador, sensing the tiring of the bull, takes out his Toledo-made sword and finishes the work...  Then the crowd goes wild!

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