SPAIN: A Little Bit Of Ronda In My Life

March 25, 2016  •  2 Comments



"Ugggggghhhh, yeah, yeah, I'm up, I'm up...." Much to the disappointment of the middle child, it's day 2 of March break and I wake her up at 6 am. I know it's vacation, but I've fully warned her of the amount of cities we're gonna hit this week and sleeping until noon is totally not an option

Where to go first?!? Looking at a map of Andalucia, I settle on driving the hour and a bit to get to Ronda in the morning, then heading back towards the coast to Marbella in the afternoon. The child is finally ready (though in a typical teenage mood and still not forgiving me for waking her up so early) and off we go!


DRIVING TO RONDA


First time driving in Spain, and all was easy-peasy until I had to start the drive upward.These always stress me out a bit at first - though I've driven through worse (in Switzerland), it's not easy to get used to. It's no real problem - just a bit curvy.... ok, actually a lot curvy in places, with switchbacks and some high drops that can be distracting - but very scenic. It is breathtaking in places but definitely more enjoyable for the passenger as the driver will be too focused on the road to see it all!! Make use of the gears and drive the speed your comfortable at and ignore the drivers on your tail. 

After circling around the most narrow streets I've ever seen, we finally find parking and head off to explore this charming pueblo blanco. The town straddles the El Tajo Gorge, with the iconic Puente Nuevo linking the new and the old town. 

If you want to see Ronda in its full glory - a busy, vibrant town - you're better off getting there as early as possible!

 

Funky decos where we parked the carTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyFunky decos where we parked the car Funky decos where we parked the car​


Walking down Calle Setenil after driving around for 30 minutes looking for parkingRonda, Spain - Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyWalking down Calle Setenil after driving around for 30 minutes looking for parking Walking down Calle Setenil after driving around for 30 minutes looking for parking
Carretera Espinel - Ronda's main street for shoppingTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyCarretera Espinel - Ronda's main street for shopping Carretera Espinel - Ronda's main street for shopping
YOU'VE GOTTA SEE...

PLAZA DEL SOCORRO
Wandering around, we come to Plaza del Socorro - one of the main squares in Ronda's new town (El Mercadillo). A beautiful fountain stands in the middle, the Nuestra Senora del Socorro on the south side, the Casino and Circulo de Artistas (Artists Society) on the north side and many, many touristy shops, restaurants and cafés all around it. Cute to see and to snap some shots, but the restos and shops around here are rumored to be major tourist traps. 

 


Statue of Hercules in the Plaza del SocorroTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyStatue of Hercules in the Plaza del Socorro

Statue of Hercules in the Plaza del Socorro​
The Plaza del Socorro is one of the more popular squares in Ronda with tons of cafés and restaurants Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThe Plaza del Socorro is one of the more popular squares in Ronda with tons of cafés and restaurants The Plaza del Socorro is one of the more popular squares in Ronda
Besides the statue of Hercules, the Nuestra Señora del Socorro is here as wellTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBesides the statue of Hercules, the Nuestra Señora del Socorro is here as well Besides the statue of Hercules, the Nuestra Señora del Socorro is here as well
Nuestra Señora del Socorro was only built in 1956 in a Neo-Baroque styleTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyNuestra Señora del Socorro was only built in 1956 in a Neo-Baroque style Nuestra Señora del Socorro was only built in 1956 in a Neo-Baroque style
Tons of cafés and restaurants ​Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTons of cafés and restaurants ​ Tons of cafés and restaurants ​​
Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPlaza de España, Ronda Plaza de España, Ronda​
YOU'VE GOTTA SEE...

PUENTE NUEVO & EL TAJO GORGE
The most emblematic site of Ronda, this impressive bridge spans over the El Tajo Gorge linking the El Mercadillo (new town) and La Cuidad (old town). Though far from being new - it was built in the 1700s - but it was new back then and the name just stuck. Honestly, words and photos cannot describe this particular spot - the sight of buildings perilously clinging to the cliffside, and a distinct dizzying effect when you look straight down (if you dare!) into the 300-foot deep ravine - makes for some pretty friggin' dramatic and impressive views and a little bit of queasiness if you're not a fan of heights. Looking at it, me and the child were in awe, "How did they build this thing????" we kept asking ourselves  -  it's only when you see it up close that you realize just how high the bridge really is. 

LA CUIDAD
The old town is much quieter than the busy, commercial new town. While it doesn't have tons of shops and restaurants, it's still got plenty to offer and oodles of charm - beautiful gardens, narrow cobblestone streets, large old mansions, gorgeous Moorish architecture and plenty of cafes to sit in and simply watch the world go by. 

 


And there it is....El Tajo Gorge and Puente Nuevo!Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyAnd there it is....El Tajo Gorge and Puente Nuevo!

And there it is....El Tajo Gorge and Puente Nuevo!
This place.....wow!Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThis place.....wow! This place.....wow!
Hotel Don Miguel, with amazing views of El Tajo and Puente NuevoTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyHotel Don Miguel, with amazing views of El Tajo and Puente Nuevo Hotel Don Miguel, with amazing views of El Tajo and Puente Nuevo
The middle child, taking in the viewTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThe middle child, taking in the view The middle child, taking in the view​
At 300-feet hight, this magnificent bridge is not for those who are afraid of heightsTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyAt 300-feet hight, this magnificent bridge is not for those who are afraid of heights At 300-feet, this magnificent bridge is not for those who are afraid of heights​
Crossing the bridge into the old town via Calle ArmiñánTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyCrossing the bridge into the old town via Calle Armiñán Crossing the bridge into the old town (La Cuidad) via Calle Armiñán​
South of the gorge is the old Moorish part Ronda called La CiudadTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySouth of the gorge is the old Moorish part Ronda called La Ciudad South of the gorge is the old Moorish part of Ronda called La Ciudad​
Absolutely beautiful on this side of the bridgeTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyAbsolutely beautiful on this side of the bridge Absolutely beautiful on this side of the bridge​
A cute museum in Ronda with a variety of exhibits - from science to art to witchcraft to the inquisition. Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyA cute museum in Ronda with a variety of exhibits - from science to art to witchcraft to the inquisition. A cute museum in Ronda with a variety of exhibits - from science to art to witchcraft to the inquisition
Besides seeing the main tourist attractions, just wandering the streets is plenty to keep me happyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBesides seeing the main tourist attractions, just wandering the streets is plenty to keep me happy Besides seeing the main tourist attractions, just wandering the streets is plenty to keep me happy​
A cute terrace, before the crowds settle inTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyA cute terrace, before the crowds settle in A cute terrace at Café de Ronda, before the crowds settle in​
Heading back to Puente NuevoTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyHeading back to Puente Nuevo Heading back to Puente Nuevo​
No matter where you are, you'll have a gorgeous viewTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyNo matter where you are, you'll have a gorgeous view No matter where you are, you'll have a gorgeous view​
Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyRonda, Spain Unbelievable views of the valley views of the valley
How did people built this town on top of this?Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyHow did people built this town on top of this? How did people build this town on top of this?​
Back at the bridge, I could stay her all dayTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBack at the bridge, I could stay her all day Back at the bridge, I could stay here all day​
Seems some doofus tourists doing the locks on this gorgeous bridgeTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySeems some doofus tourists doing the locks on this gorgeous bridge Seems some doofus tourists are doing the locks on this gorgeous bridge​
Looking straight down.....is kinda scaryTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyLooking straight down.....is kinda scary Looking straight down.....is kinda scary​
Walkway that will lead us to the Parador de RondaTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyWalkway that will lead us to the Parador de Ronda Walkway that will lead us to the Alameda del Tajo
Another view of Puente Nuevo (from the new town side)Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyAnother view of Puente Nuevo (from the new town side) Another view of Puente Nuevo (from the new town side)​
Serenaded by soothing guitar playing while walking along the promenadeTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographySerenaded by soothing guitar playing while walking along the promenade Serenaded by soothing guitar playing while walking along the promenade​
The views from in front of the Parador de RondaTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThe views from in front of the Parador de Ronda The views from in front of the Parador de Ronda​
Me.....just happy to be here!Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyMe.....just happy to be here! Me.....just happy to be here!​
YOU'VE GOTTA SEE...

ALAMEDA DEL TAJO
It's a tiny park, in the middle of Ronda with gorgeous greenery, cute fountains and a few bends to sit down and chill. But the main reason for heading to this park is the view. Incredible! Absolutely breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside with rolling green hills. To really get the full effect, step out on to one of the miradores - it feels like you're standing at the edge of the world - which you kind of are, since these miradores are suspended with nothing underneath them - not good if you're afraid of heights!

 


The viewing platform and Alameda ParkTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThe viewing platform and Alameda Park

The viewing platform and Alameda Park​
A closer look at the platform jutting out into nothingnessTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyA closer look at the platform jutting out into nothingness A closer look at the platform, high above the ground and jutting out into nothingness​
The child was excited to cactus around these partsTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThe child was excited to cactus around these parts The child was excited to cactus around these parts​
A house at the bottom of the valley - I could definitely live there!Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyA house at the bottom of the valley - I could definitely live there! A house at the bottom of the valley - I could definitely live there!​
THE viewTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTHE view Enjoying THE view...
.....with a harpest playing in the backgroundTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon Photography.....with a harpest playing in the background .....with a harpest playing in the background
YOU'VE GOTTA SEE...

PLAZA DE TOROS
No matter what your opinion is on bullfighting, you can't go to Ronda and without a visit to its Plaza de Toros. Though it's a bit of a steep entrance fee for what it is - 7 €, or 8,5 € with the audioguide -  if you've never seen a bullring in your life, then it's worth it to take a look. It's the oldest bullring in Andalucia, with an interesting museum that has great exhibits of traditional costumes and memorabilia. It may be a bit pricey for the experience but worth it for the impressive feeling you get when standing in the middle of the arena

 


Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyRonda, Spain

Outside Ronda's Plaza de Toros
Matador welcoming us into the Plaza de TorosTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyMatador welcoming us into the Plaza de Toros Matador welcoming us into the Plaza de Toros
Entrance area before entering the ringTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyEntrance area before entering the ring
Entrance area before entering the ring​
The child waiting for me to go inTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyThe child waiting for me to go in
The child waiting for me to go in
Artwork on the fence surrounding the ringTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyArtwork on the fence surrounding the ring Artwork on the fence surrounding the ring

Pretty impressive Plaza de TorosTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPretty impressive Plaza de Toros

Pretty impressive Plaza de Toros​
Chillin' in the shadeTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyChillin' in the shade Chillin' in the shade​
Police and photographers seem to get the best viewsTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyPolice and photographers seem to get the best views Police and photographers seem to get the best views​
Better view of how big this place isTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyBetter view of how big this place is Better view of how big this place is​
Display inside the museumDisplay inside the museum Display inside the museum​
Artwork in the dimly lit museum portionTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyArtwork in the dimly lit museum portion Artwork in the dimly lit museum portion​
Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyRonda, Spain Very cute tile work on the stairs
Travel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyTravel Keeps Me Sane - Jennifer Mahon PhotographyRonda, Spain Statue of a matador outside the Plaza de Toros

 

There is no wrong way to visit Ronda because the city is gorgeous and the views breathtaking everywhere - I totally needed this little bit of Ronda in my life!

 


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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Comments

Christopher(non-registered)
Ronda is such a beautiful city - thanks for sharing!
Mike(non-registered)
wonderful information, I had come to know about your blog from my friend and I have read at least 10 of your posts in a row, and let me tell you, your blog gives such a unique viewpoint of the cities. It's not the typical city guide, but more a personal experience, hats off to you!
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