Thursday, November 4, 2010

Ronda for lunch, Marbella for dinner!

Sunday, after Rayna's birthday, we decided to go on another road trip! First stop, Ronda!

Ronda is a gorgeous pueblo blanco sitting atop an enormous mountain range...I think they said it was 750 feet above sea water. The Rio Guadalevin (river) runs through the city, dividing it in two and carving out the 'El Tajo' canyon upon which the city is perched. There are three bridges spanning the canyon and connecting the town from old to new (new being the 1700s). The views from the bridge over the canyon are just stunning and I can't wait to go back and spend more time there.

Just breathtakingly beautiful!

We also saw the Plaza de Toros de Ronda which is the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain still in use. We took a tour and saw the ring and the museum artifacts with ancient artillery (a huge room full of guns), matador costumes, posters and advertisements from old Bull fights and beautiful oil paintings of Bull fighting scenes.

I loved the little chapel where the matadors would pray before fighting the bull! :-) And the girls had fun chasing Johann around the bullring yelling, "Toro, Toro, Ole!!"

Another thing I love about Spain are the play grounds! I LOVE that the planners put them in front of the most beautiful scenery literally, in the world. Here are the girls swinging and sliding in paradise...

And some views of the city...

This is across the bridge into the "New City". We didn't walk across, but we drove across on the way out and the shopping there looks awesome...Definitely going back!

Here is Rayna posing in the garden with a statue of the traditional Spanish woman from Ronda. And below that, the girls being silly. :-)

And the street named for Ernest Hemingway because Ronda is the location of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and he wrote it here.

My mom, in the city, posing in a Jamon store - Notice the MOLD growing on the don't eat the outside obviously...they have a special cutting machine that thinly slices the ham and it is eaten as a delicacy. I'm not a HUGE fan, but it'll do in a pinch. :-)

And Johann and the girls, waiting patiently while Mom and Val did some souvenir shopping!

There were storm clouds brewing and we still had to get to Marbella, so we hit McDonalds for lunch! (So American!!! tsk, tsk, tsk) ...and got back in the car for a VERY curvy (nauseating) drive down the gorge to the Mediterranean coast of Spain. There was a VERY narrow two way road and we were literally on the very EDGE of the mountain overlooking a 700 foot DROP. AHhhhhhhh! (I had to put my head between my knees...).

We stopped for some fresh air (and so I wouldn't barf in the car) and Johann spotted his dream golf course (in the gorge below). I'm sure there will be a "Boys Golfing Trip to Marbella" in the near future...

Marbella is considered the "French Riviera of Spain" and is where all of the glitterati hang out. We didn't see anyone famous, but we saw tons of very fancy $400,000 cars, beautiful yachts in the marina...I drooled a bit over some 1084 Euro Jimmy Choo stiletto leopard skin shoes and we ate at the Hard Rock Cafe!

It was a fun, fun day!

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