What a fabulous city! Everywhere you go in Ronda there is a more beautiful view around the next corner. There is something irresistible about the landscape - kind of like the Grand Tetons, the Li River in China, it is a photo paradise.
We started our day with a walk from our parador across the "new bridge" (completed in 1793) through the old city with our guide Armando.
The cathedral, Santa Maria Ayor is not as big as some, but has some beautiful altars.
There is a modern painting of the last supper, where Christ and each disciple is a woman. It’s highly unusual and unique to find that in a church - especially an old one.
We took a coffee break near a park - one of the lookouts over the city and sipped our drinks listening to a guitarist who had set up shop. Could have stayed all day.
We ended the tour at the Casa Don Bosco, a more modern residence that was donated by a wealthy family to be a retirement home for priests. It was heavily furnished and had beautiful gardens overlooking the city.
A lovely tapas lunch was followed by a walk into the new village - pedestrian streets, stores galore, and many, many people. Although we opted out of visiting the (non-functioning) Arab baths, we did get over to the bullring and museum next door. Ronda (or Seville, depending on who you ask) is where bullfighting originated, and has one of the largest and most famous bullrings in Spain.
It only hosts 4 bullfights per year, but ithe arena is open to visitors and contains a museum, as well. Following the audio guide, we saw the bull holding area, dressage for the Andalusian horse school held there, learned the entire 3-part bullfighting process, and saw the museum which housed the heads of four famous bulls, famous toreadors, and posters of bullfights by modern artists. Somewhat gory, but still an important part of Spanish culture.
A large group of us had signed up to go a concert to hear Luis Balaguer, a local flamenco guitar virtuoso. This was held in a small guitar shop with the concert in back. He teaches at a local conservatory and was wonderful. Emma then led a small group to her favorite tapas restaurant in a nearby square. It’s so easy when you have a Spaniard ordering! Our favorite dishes were a mixed salad with lots of nuts, fried eggplant chips with molasses sprinkled over them, and some fried shrimp croquettes. It seems like we are always thinking about food, and overeating all the delicious things we find. (But it’s worth it!)
Tomorrow we are off to Granada and the famous Alhambra Palace.