February 07, 2010

Senoritas y Caballeros

On Saturday, we got up bright and early (again) to take an excursion to Ronda. Ronda is about 1.5 hours west of Malaga. It's situated in the mountains and it's been around since the middle ages. The city remained under Muslim control during the Reconquista so there is a lot of Muslim influence in the old architecture.

Obvi I'm just summarizing Wikipedia here, folks. But our walking tour gives you a better idea of what the city is really like.

This is the altar where they took convicted criminals to have their last prayer before hanging.

Streets/ sidewalks again

La Puente Nueva (New Bridge) - the window underneath the bridge is the window from a tiny room that was used as a prison cell. And below is a huge gorge with a running river.

The whole time our tour guide, Pepe, kept saying "Senoritas y Caballeros, Vamanos" which means "Ladies and Gentlemen, let's go!"

We got to see some ancient Arabic baths that were a huge part of the Muslims' religious and social life. There were three rooms - one hot room like a sauna, one mild room for relaxation, and one cold room for a pool.

This view is what inspired some great writers like Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles, who both lived in Ronda for part of their lives.

So pretty!

We also got a behind-the-scenes tour of the oldest Plaza de los Toros in Spain. This plaza is also the largest, which means it's the most dangerous for toledos (bullfighters).

Afterwards, we ate our bocadillos (sandwiches) that our senoras had packed for us. Almost everyone had a sandwich (or 2 or 3) that consisted of half a loaf of bread and some pepperoni. That's it. Some people actually had cheese or their bread was slathered in butter. It was definitely a different sandwich than we were used to. We also found some yummy chocolateria to buy some helado (ice cream)!

Overall, Ronda was a beautiful city filled with amazing history and architecture. We were really fortunate because the weather was unseasonably warm and sunny. Hopefully this beautiful weather stays here for awhile because I'm really sick of bundling up while I'm looking at a beach!

I'm trying to plan a vacation to Barcelona and then London while I'm here. I've heard they are must-sees and I think navigating around London would be much easier than a country like France or Germany, where we don't know the language. There are tons of good deals to be found traveling within Europe so I hope I can make the most of the deals!

Hope everyone is doing well! I miss you all! 66 days to go here in Spain and still so much to do! :)


jeffo said...

The baths you visited in Ronda are reminiscent of the ancient Roman baths we visited in England when your Mom was only 6 years old.


Kasey said...

Paul's sister lives in London so let me know if you want me to give her a call for when you visit.

robert said...

Hey Megan,
London is so easy to get around, it's ridiculous. The all-day Tube pass is really cheap and you can go anywhere at your leisure. It's very expensive tho, and the weather will suck, but other-wise, it's a fun place to visit. Good luck. Have a Guiness for me.