Happy Friday! Ready for our next fabulous trip? I am! Today we are headed to Ronda, an ancient city in the Spanish province of Málaga. Map here. Spending time with you in Tuscany last week was simply amazing but we have much to look forward to today. Strolling through this historic town, we are sure to encounter breathtaking views, sip Spanish wines and munch on traditional delights. A dash of culture and a little history are on the agenda too. We have to be well-rounded travelers right? Okay, enough chit chat...let's go!
Image via flexijourney.com
Let me introduce you to Ronda. No, it's not the girl from accounting but rather an incredible city dating back to Neo-lithic times. Yes, I'm talking cave paintings and they have real ones here seen in the Cueva de la Pileta. From the Celts, to the Romans and the Moors, this city has a long standing in the history books. Perched 750 meters above sea level, overlooking the El Tajo canyon it offers majestic views of the surrounding valley.
Now that you have been formally introduced, let's check into our hotel...
I searched and searched to find us the perfect haven. Just outside of town I found this jewel - Hotel la Fuente de la Higuera! Expensive? Of course, but if you are going to vicariously travel you have to go BIG! Isn't it gorgeous?
Listen to the beautiful sounds of the Spanish countryside...(this is an actual recording from this area in Spain)
Images via hotellafuente.com
I hope this will do! Now, come on let's head back into town and explore. I'm getting hungry, as usual.
To cross into Ronda we will traverse one of its three impressive bridges.
Let's go exploring...
Listen to the sounds of the city...
Oooh...look at this beautiful, hand painted pottery! All the gorgeous colors of Spain...might have to get some of these. Shop for them here.
Speaking of dishes...I'm getting a tad peckish... and I just happen to know that Don Miguel is the place to eat!
Images via DonMiguel
Perched along the cliff side this dramatic hotel and restaurant are famous for the fantastic views and traditional cuisine. Let's try some local dishes! Are you game?
Let's start with gazpacho. Mmm...a lovely cold tomato soup that got its start right here in Southern Spain. Recipe here.
We simply must have the Paella! It's quite famous here! A sumptuous mix of seafood, spiced sausage and meats, fresh herbs and rice, get ready to seriously eat your fill! Recipe.Let's wash it all down with a fine bottle of Spanish wine. In Ronda, wine is a serious business with a 6000 year old history. They even have a Museum of Wine! This is my kind of place.
What's that? Your sweet tooth is complaining...no worries, let's feast on some Churros con Chocolate!
Translation: Fried dough dipped in warm, rich, chocolate...sigh...drool. Recipe.
What's next? Oh right...we have to get our culture/history fix.
Did you know that modern bullfighting originated here? Ronda's bullring is the oldest and most ornate in the country. In the 18th century bullfighters went from horseback to the pedestrian matador that we think of today. Ronda's own famous fighter was Pedro Romero, who apparently slayed many thousands of bulls without injury. You may think that this bullring sees regular use but today, the sport is more of an annual event. I'm sure the bulls appreciate this.
These bath ruins are some of the best preserved in Europe. Amazing aren't they? It's no coincidence that the baths are at the entrance to the city, since Ronda was the gateway to a large Muslim population who believed that one must purify themselves upon entering. It's fascinating to understand what it took to heat the waters. I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to anything anthropological, so if you are curious and want to learn more watch this video.
Okay all that eating, drinking and learning has made me rather tired. Let's head back to the hotel and nap, poolside.
Ahhh...that was a lovely trip wasn't it? I so enjoyed learning about this incredible town. So full of history!
What did you like on our trip? Have you ever actually been to Spain?
Thank you for joining me. Next week we will be headed to beautiful Greece! Don't miss it!
p.s. If you are wondering why I didn't take us to the big cities of Spain or Italy, it is because I am trying to focus on the more hidden spots...the not so obvious destinations. I feel like it gives us more of a sense of discovery...finding secret places to explore. Make sense?
Audio via freesound.org
- Michelle Obama visits Ronda, Spain (seattletimes.nwsource.com)