Oh Sweet Ronda, Enchantress of Andalucia!

27 April 2013

One glimpse of her narrow valley and one night in her bosom and we knew we were going to stay for a few more days. Just one of Andalucia’s Peublos Blanco’s (white villages), medieval towns typically situated on a precipitous cliff or hilltop designed to stop marauding invaders. Ronda is impressive, and on the first evening when we arrived, looking over the El Tajo from the stunning Puente Nuevo (“new bridge”) only built in 1793 and out across the valley below she looked ever so inviting.


Spring in Ronda


Happy in the Jardin de Alameda, Ronda

We have explored her on foot and looked with awe across the valley below and mountains all around. We’ve walked out of town to the next village, and then back again, and ridden our Triumph along the cobbled streets and across the Puente Nuevo. We visited the bullring, the oldest in Spain, and even wished there were a few bulls in there to scatter away a few of the many large tour groups. Still, we’ve really enjoyed our time in this region, Andalucia has been everything we were hoping it might be, warm sunny weather, great food, amazing architecture and friendly people.


Precipitous Ronda

We timed our visit to Seville to coincide with the Feria de Abril (April Festival) when the young and old dress up in their finest Spanish clothes, parade about on the streets from early afternoon and then drink and dance all through the night until the morning. And so so many bars! The elixir of life hung heavy in the air and we wanted to stay longer. The Alcazar was amazing, so many tiles and 1100 years of history, layer upon layer of it.


Seville's senoritas


Even the horses dress up for Feria


Underground baths in the Alcazar, just exquisite


The horsemen of Seville


Seville in April


Alcazar pottery

Cordoba was just up the road, and what another gem of a city, such a great place to hang out, so colourful, especially at this time of year with all the patios alive with potted plants and white washed walls. The Mesquita is quite something, an amazing mosque (785 AD) with a cathedral built into the middle of it! The city certainly deserves its UNESCO World Heritage status, along with Seville, and Granada.


Cordoba's patio festival brightens up the town


The alluring Mesquita, Cordoba

We’ve loved every minute of Andalucia, from the bustling cities with their effervescent street life, to the quiet country villages and their sleepy town squares, the shepherds herding their sheep and goats, the farmers working the land, the donkey’s with their little loads of hay, the wonderful Andalucian horses, the great mountain scenery and quiet (fast) winding roads, it has it all, along with awesome weather. We’ll be sad to leave, but leave we must.

Many thanks to our new friends Helena and Luciana who so kindly hosted us in delightful Cordoba.


Nonna's wisteria, Guadalcanal, Andalucia


Another picnic in the dehesa


Enjoying the views in Arcos de la Frontera


Triumphant Andalucia

A final quirky word must go to the little town of Juzcar, once one of the quiet Peublos Blanco’s, now just another smurf village, thanks to Sony Pictures!


The "blue village", courtesy of Sony Pictures


Blue village cameo

Well I hope you are enjoying the ride as much as we are! Come back soon for the final Spanish instalment before we make a dash across Italy.


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