The streets of Ronda are narrow and tight so our coach dropped us off at the local bus station. It wasn’t far just a 10 minute walk. Some of our group went shopping, Sarah, Peter, Muriel and I found a small restaurant to have some lunch. My stomach was playing up so I wanted something a bit bland.
Lunch was spanish omelette and some chips of course we all had wine. Wine fixes anything, yes?
Our tour started at the Ronda Arena (in Spanish, Plaza de Toros de Ronda), one of the oldest arena in Spain. Ronda is known to be the birthplace of bullfighting. Our guide we found out later was an old bull fighter. He was very passionate about the bullfighting. He couldn’t comprehend why we were all against it. Animal cruelty. He said sometimes the bulls are sent to the animal hospital and knows that eventually it may be banned in Spain. Not in his lifetime though.
The Bullfighters had a chapel that they used before a fight.
The Bullring was built in 1785, and can have 5,000 people sitting in the stands. There is also a museum which we were lucky to visit. The museum showed the history of bullfighting. Also displayed the colorful costumes of the matadors and the women – yes over the centuries there have been women matadors.
After looking at all the museum had to offer we wandered out onto the ground of the bullring. It felt strange standing on the very ground where blood was spilled.
I used an excuse to use the bathroom/toilet to leave the ground. I waited for the others at the exit. We would be doing a walking tour through Ronda with our guide.
The bullring may have made me feel sick but the rest of Ronda took my breath away.
What a beautiful stunning town.
Nothing I had read before arriving in Ronda could prepare me for what we were going to see.
Ronda’s ‘new bridge’ was completed in 1793, taking 40 years to build. However 50 builders lost their lives in the construction of the span over the Tajo Gorge. The bridge divides Ronda from the new town – Mercadillo – little market and old – La Ciudad.
The vantage points were crowded and we had to jostle to get “that photo”.
Our guide took our group over the bridge allowing us to take a few more photos. Next stop would be the Casa Con Bosco.
A beautiful home with original furniture from yesteryear but what blew our minds was the courtyard. Stunning views of the Puente Nuevo and the valleys below. After the crowds clamoring for that view, it was just our group.
Unfortunately we had to leave this bit of paradise and back out to the crowds. Thats ok as we were part of that crowd, all clamoring to look at such a beautiful town.
The Puerto Viejo is the old bridge but not the oldest and is often called Puente Arab but it isn’t Arab.
Our walking tour was over and we had about 20 minutes before we were to walk back to our coach.
Muriel and I wandered past the Bullring to the park behind to see more of the valley below. At the start of the park were two sculptures one for Orson Wells and the other for Ernest Hemingway.
Ernest Hemingway and Orson Wells were both bullfighting “fans”. They both spent many summers in Ronda and wrote about its beauty and traditions. Orson Welles ashes are buried at the Ronda property of bullfighter Antionia Ordonez.
I would recommend spending at least a couple of days in Ronda Spain. Our time in Ronda was over and our next stop would be Granada.
To learn a bit more of the history of Ronda check this link out : History of Ronda