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To celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary on August 1st, we decided to treat ourselves to a long weekend in the beautiful Andalucían town of Ronda.  Our son Daniel and his girlfriend Nikki were staying with us, so we all set off for the two hour journey to stay at the magnificent Parador, which is the building perched on the left of gorge clearly visible in the first photo, above.

Ronda is one of the most famous and oldest Moorish towns of Andalucía.  Prehistoric remains show that the first inhabitants were here 25,000 years before Christ.  The Romans built the first settlements, but in 711AD the Moors conquered  the area, after which it flourished.

The beautiful town of Ronda, in southern Spain, has an altitude of 739m and can be found 60 kilometres up a winding mountain road from Marbella, in the mountain range known as the Serranía de Ronda.    Hardly anybody regrets taking this popular journey through narrow mountain streets, when suddenly Ronda appears like an apparition.

Nothing in all Spain is more surprising than this wild town“, said the writer Rainer Maria Rilke.

The town sits astride a deep gorge, known as El Tajo, with a stone bridge linking the two sides.   Built in 1793, it is called the New Bridge (Puente Nuevo), because there are two older bridges spanning the gorge.  Everybody takes this photo above, and you can see why.  It’s magic and spectacular.  To get to this viewpoint you walk down a path that leads from the old town and follows an old defensive wall built in the days of Islamic rule in Ronda.  The layers of history go back thousands of years in this area.

We took a peek into Ronda’s famous bullring, a handsome two-story limestone structure.  The ring is surrounded by 5,000 tiered seats under double arches formed by 136 columns. Today, it is used primarily during the colourful festival on the first weekend of September when the Spanish dress in 19th-century costume and re-create the bullfights of that time.

There are several interesting buildings, in particular, from the Moorish period.   Ronda’s central square is very lively, with many restaurants inviting you to taste the specialities from the local area.

If you are visiting southern Spain –  make sure you make the trip to Ronda.  You won´t regret it!

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