Ronda – A City That Sits on the Edge

February 17 – 20, 2020

We knew that Ronda wasn’t a very big town and we only planned to spend a few days here. The more we explored, the more we liked this area of Spain. Many people only do a day trip here and I’m so happy we gave it more time.

Ronda packs a powerful historical punch with origins back to prehistory. This town that was built on the top of an outcropping of rocks is also home to the Cave of Pileta, complete with Stone Age art, megalithic monuments and many Roman ruins.

Ronda grew as an agricultural region and trading town under the Muslim rule. In 1485, the conquest of the Catholic Kings brought a period of cultural and structural growth. The New Bridge and the Bullring were built during this timeframe of history.

In current history, Ernest Hemingway and Orson Wells had homes and spent a considerable amount of time in Ronda. Ernest wrote The Dangerous Summer, about his friend and local bullfighter legend Antonio Ordóñez, during his time here. The City has even erected statues for Orson and Ernest.

Crossing the New Bridge and looking into Ronda from the west side of the bridge.
From the other side of the New Bridge looking into Ronda. This bridge took 40 years to build and connected Old Town with the New Town.
Ronda getting prepared for Carnival along the city streets.
The Hotel Colon shares a story about Christopher Columbus and one of his voyages.
White Almond trees in bloom

Arab Baths of Ronda

These Muslim baths are dated back to the 1200’s. They were used not only as latrines, but also to gather together and cleanse as per the Muslim religion. The water was brought up to the baths by a Ferris wheel system that still works today. There were hot rooms, steam rooms, cool rooms and bathing facilities. It is really quite impressive to see the size and the engineering of this large bath house.

During the Arab rule, they had quite an elaborate bath system which can be seen here.

Bulls and Bull Fighters

The Ronda Bullring is recognized as one of the oldest in Spain. It has been holding bullfights since 1785 and two important bullfighters came from Ronda. There are farms in this region that raise bulls and you can do a visit to see the farms.

Local bullfighter legend Antonio Ordóñez began his career at this bullring. He fought over 6,000 fights and was never gored. His last fight was when he was the ripe old age of 80. I have to say, “What a guy”!

Bull statue outside the bull ring.

A Circular Walking Route

There are many walking and hiking trails through this area from village to village. We decided to do an 8 mile circular loop. We started from our Airbnb at the top of Ronda and walked down through the South Gate and around through the countryside. We got a great view from the bottom looking back up into Ronda. Then we started the trek back up the hill to town. This area was full of waterfalls, orange trees, blooming almond trees and lots and lots of olive trees. Bring water and a bite to eat as there were not any cafes, etc through this lower walk.

We hiked down and around Ronda on an 8 mile journey. At this point, we had made it to the bottom and were looking up at the New bridge.
Down and around that rock spire and we get to start climbing back up. Yippie!! Yippie!!
Overlooking the beautiful valley outside of Ronda. Yes, we walked that road!

A Parting Gift

On out last night in Ronda, the sky displayed an array of colors for this marvelous sunset. We smiled and took it as a sign that it was time to move on to another adventure.

Eastern cloud line and hills catching sunset colors.
Sunset descending on Ronda.

Directions: We took the train from Seville to Ronda with a train change at Antequera-Santa Ana, €44pp.

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