ronda, spain

Ever since I first saw Ronda featured in one of Rick Steves' videos before we moved to Spain in the fall of 2015, I've been intrigued by the city and have really wanted to visit.  The way it seemed to perch on edge of a canyon and, of course, its iconic bridge that stretches across the chasm...at a time when I knew and understood so little about Spain (and really, I can't claim too much more now but at least I've seen and experienced a few things in 10 months of living here) I was just really captured by Ronda.  

D - It's funny reading that because looking back, I didn't think Ronda looked that cool.  Then again, I didn't think Spain as a whole seemed that cool.  This is a great example of how dumb I can be.  It's a good thing that I have Shannon to push me and take me around the world.  Otherwise, I'd have missed out on so much God made/inspired beauty!  

When we took a trip to Sevilla last January I tried to work in a side trip to Ronda, but people looked at me strange when I mentioned doing that - it's not the most convenient or obvious of day trips from Sevilla - so when it didn't work at that time I think I pushed it to the back of my mind for a while.  

Last summer a friend of ours, who is pretty familiar with Spain, told us that Ronda is one of his favorite places in all of Spain, and that this past summer he spent multiple days just relaxing and hanging out around Ronda.  It got me to thinking about the city again, and so when we had a four-day weekend at the end of October, we decided to rent a car and spend our time off in Ronda and Granada (with stops on the way to Ronda in Consuegra and Setenil de las Bodegas).

So I'll just tell you upfront: I loved Ronda.  It was laid-back, easy to explore, and just as beautiful as I was hoping - maybe even more so, as I wasn't anticipating the mountains in the background.   

D - Ronda was really, really cool.  I kinda wish that I could've visited back in the old days when the cameras I used were mostly of the throw-away variety.  Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we have pictures of this incredible place to look back on!  Sometimes though it's hard for me to fully appreciate a place like this while there because I'm trying to capture the beauty I'm experiencing through my eyes on camera, which is basically impossible.  I guess it's just another example of the pros and cons of technology nowadays.  It's a slow process, but I'm learning how to be content with (what I would consider) less than perfect pictures for the sake of actually enjoying our time spent in a place.

We stayed at the nicest bed and breakfast called Finca la Guzmana just outside of Ronda that I'd love to go back to in the summer for a long weekend just to hang out and relax - it has a great, big outdoor pool and is in a good location for exploring not only Ronda but other parts of Andalucia as well.  We took advantage of the kitchen in the evening and fancied up some leftovers we brought with us from Madrid and ate with a Dutch-American couple (that made some actually fancy food).  In the morning we feasted on breakfast left out by our host and our eyes feasted on this sight out our window...  

Meanwhile, back in Ronda, things were just as lovely as ever.

(Yes, that is a real donkey on the right.)

D - ...I think that's a horse.

We decided to stop for lunch in Ronda before leaving town for Granada, and we ended up being really glad we did.  We checked out one of the nice looking places overlooking the canyon on a whim, and realized that their prices were actually really reasonable, the food was pretty good (and generously portioned out), and the views were unbeatable.  

D - This restaurant was such a pleasant surprise!  We really thought it would be super expensive, then it wasn't, we got the best seat in the house, and the pizza was pretty good!  I'm a real sucker for good portion sizes.  

And...we'd been eyeing a certain dessert joint since getting into town, so before leaving, we stopped by for some sweets.  I know in the photo below it looks like I had quite the spread and am protecting them from would-be thieves with my left arm out like that, but actually Danny and I were sharing all the treats and who knows what was going on at the time?  The sweets were really good, so I could have been protective of them.

D - Shannon seems to have forgotten that we also tried at least one treat that turned out to be pretty nasty which is a good reminder that appearances can be deceiving...especially in bakeries.  That being said, we did have some creme-filled donut hole type things which were super delicious.  

Ronda was just fantastic.  Sunny, relaxing, beautiful around every corner, and, at least in my mind, it lived up to all the expectations I had for it.  It's walkable, which makes sense since the population is only about 35,000, and a great place to spend a couple of days in the south of Spain - two would seem about right to me - as long as you're not wanting to pack them with sightseeing.  I can't wait for an excuse to return but until then I'll just try to convince others to take their own trip(s) there!  ;)