When visiting the Costa del Sol in sunny Spain, there's a magical place just waiting for you, just a short drive from Marbella and on top of a mountain.
OK, the drive up to Ronda can be a tad daunting as it winds around the hillside, but the views on the way (for passengers at least!) are astounding. And what you will find at the top makes the whole thing worthwhile.
Ronda, whilst traditionally Spanish, incorporates a lot of history - from the Romans to the Moors, they have all left their mark in the well preserved ruins and buildings to be found in the town.
Pictured on the left is the "New Bridge", which spans a deep gorge, El Tajo. While it was built some years ago, the name New Bridge has somehow stuck.
When crossing the bridge the view down to the bottom of the gorge is astounding and on either side of the gorge, houses seem to just cling to the edges and look likely to fall at any moment.
Behind the image of the New Bridge you will see a fascinating building - the House of the Moorish King. Still in impressive condition on the outside, however it is not possible to view the inner rooms as they have not yet been renovated for safety. The gardens are worth a visit though and were constructed by the great French Landscaper Forestier in 1912.
The house also has a mine which you can visit, which consists of a wide zigzagging staircase carved into the rock, covered by a fascinating system of stacked vaults. Visit the Sala del Manantial (Room of the Spring) from which slaves brought water to the King.
The Romans were first to build in the town and examples of bridges and walls can be viewed throughout. Then along came the Moors, who built walls, gates and arches in the city, all pretty much intact, and the interior of the Arab Baths can be viewed in pretty much the original state.
Famous people love this city - close to the Alameda del Tajo Park, you can visit the Paseo de Orson Wells - the famous actor loved Ronda and is, in fact, buried there. Ernest Hemingway was also very fond of the city and the Paseo de Hemingway has been named for him. He visited Spain during the Spanish Civil War, to report for the North American Newspaper Alliance.
Speaking of the Tajo Park, this is a lovely flowery strolling place with restful benches and the Blas Infante viewpoint where you can stand on a balcony over... a huge drop! See photo on the right.
The Plaza de Toros, or Bullring, of Ronda, is the oldest in Spain and was officially inaugurated in 1785 by the two bullfighters, Pedro Romero and Pepe Hillo. It is possible to visit the bullring, its museum and the surrounding buildings and paddocks.
And here are some more views of Ronda - the first being from the Blas Infante viewpoint:
There are many more attractions to view in Ronda and it is well worth a visit. Bear in mind you need at least 3 days to see the town properly. In the summer months, July and August, Ronda is very hot, so take plenty of water. And to the other extreme, in mid winter, it is freezing cold there!
More photos of Ronda can be seen here.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com