Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Ready, set, launch! As you may know, we’re a big proponent of day trips. Being that we are slow travelers and tend to reside in places for several months at a time – all the while getting our work done – day trips afford us adventures beyond the city in which we live. They also afford us to get out and about on the weekends, when we can take all-day breathers instead of half-day breathers.

Being that my parents were in town to visit – yay! – we scoured maps and requested insight from local friends as to where we should go for a day’s jaunt while my folks were in Seville. Everyone seemed to have the idea that we could hit a few cities in one day with our trusty blue rental car.

Alas, we are slow travelers. And that means we don’t even like to barrel through two places in one day, let alone more than that. So, with a map in hand, we set out for the historic town of Ronda, Spain.

Ronda is sometimes known as the gateway to Andalusia’s white villages, sometimes known as the birthplace of bullfighting, sometimes known as a town written about by Ernest Hemingway. We just knew it as a city that looks sexy in pictures, and we wanted to take a look.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

“Oh hey, this place looks fairly nifty. Sounds good!”

Because that’s how we tend to direct our lives when going to new places. And if you’ve read any of our tales of Montenegro, you know how that can turn out.

Anyway, we snacked up and headed out, four of us thrown into our fancy, free rental car upgrade, courtesy of Sixt. (We paid for the rental. Sadly, I cannot drop a disclaimer in here about how we got it for free, ‘but our opinions are ours and only ours.’) It actually took us 5-10 minutes to ‘head out,’ considering that’s how long it took us to figure out how to turn on the navi. Ha.

The blue bomber…

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

My dad and I drive stick, but my license needs an update. Stereotypically on-point for Americans, the ladies in the car don’t drive manual. So, my dad took the helm, as he had done so many times on countless road trips when I was a young buck. The only difference is that we’re now all older, in a foreign land, and my sister has been exchanged for Ang. As much as I love my sister, I’ll consider that a major life upgrade. (Bonus points, anyone?)

Here are my folks, just after arriving in Spain. They rock. Best parents in the earthiverse.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Off we went, out of Seville and into the countryside. I have no idea what this green stuff is, but it really is that green. Lime green. Crazy fluorescent green as if the fields were growing small stalks of antifreeze. Whatever it is – do you know? – the color was pretty darn snazzy.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Leaving the brush-filled plains of Seville, we passed a myriad of olive tree plantations as we climbed into the foothills, and then the mountains, of Andalusia. This area reminded all of us of Arizona, with oodles more history and different road signs. I could insert a joke about the language being the same, but you might find that hilarity to be offensive unless you know me well enough to know my stance on things like that.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Right. As we drove into Ronda, we were all immediately impressed by its white-village architecture. This is the first building we saw after we parked the car. We likey.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Walking into the center of town, we passed this expansive park whilst looking for the first sign of a cafetería. Coffee, stat. My mom was happy to get her beloved cappuccino, and we were all just as joyful with our sweet pastries and caffeine fixes.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

After mistakenly grabbing a map in Italian (close enough, right?) at the local tourist office, we walked by Ronda’s bull ring. As much as I have inner conflicts about such things, it was interesting to see Spain’s oldest and one of its most highly respected treasures. This is where I tell you that we didn’t have time to go inside, and instead show you a picture of half of the outside, complete with traffic in the way.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Everyone takes fancy photos of such things. But who else can title their photo, “Half of Historic Bull Ring from Outside with Tourist’s Renault in the Way”? We’re some groundbreaking folks, here.

Ronda is probably most prominently known for its massive gorge and towering bridge. The gorge is also most prominently known as the thing we most prominently wanted to see while we were there. First, though, we made our way past the town’s parador. Call it a central, fancy hotel that pretty much always contains an overpriced restaurant, and may or may not contain breathtaking views of whatever city you happen to be visiting.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Pleased with seeing it from outside, we made our way in and out of pastelerías and carnicerías, dodging the odd tourist before staring straight down into the bottom of a ridiculously high gorge.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Bridge…

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Views…

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Vistas…

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Other fancy word for things…

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

…Clearly, this is one you can’t stop taking pictures of. Especially when the sun is at all the wrong angles and you just can’t get the picture you want. But hey, sunny days are better than rainy, dark ones, so who are we to complain? After all, we saw the darn thing in person. Right?

While three bridges cross the canyon, Puente Nuevo is the largest and arguably the most impressive. Completed in 1793, it hangs 120 meters (390 feet) above the floor below.

I’m the type of person who has that condition that makes me want to jump from high things. It’s therefore a good thing that, either when it was built or more recently, someone decided to make the walls on the bridge fairly high. Of course, you can stand on ledges and look over, reminiscing about that part in Superman where the kid falls off the cliff, down toward Niagara Falls. Until he’s saved by a dude in tights. Figuring that there were no dudes around in tights who could fly and save people who are not kids, I was able to control myself.

After oohing and aweing at that spectacle, we crossed over to the other side of town and began snooping around corners, up and down streets. Because everything but the main road is up or down when you’re perched high above a valley below.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

We had plenty of Life After People moments in this sometimes sleepy, sometimes touristy town.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Sexy doors are a given in this part of the world…

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

…as are door knockers…

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

…as is tile work that adorns facades and doorways.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

We also found this floor to be of the fascinating variety. Is it wavy? Or does it just look wavy? What was in my coffee? Where am I? You know, the usual.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Being that we are basically children in older bodies, we could not resist the temptation…

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Pretty much. Don’t worry, we put all the tiles back when we were done, and the lady running the one of eighty tourist shops in town didn’t seem to mind the guiris playing with her wares. It’s pretty hard to deny that we were by no means the first, and certainly not the last, to do such a thing.

After curiously peeking around corners and following random, tiny “streets,” we ended up at the church of Santa Maria la Mayor. This church, like many in southern Spain, was once a mosque. Obviously, they built a church on it.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

My parents went inside, and we decided to forego paying to see what was left of once-beautiful Moorish architecture, and settled outside with a beer.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

It was getting to be late in the day, the time when siesta is over and you can’t find anything to eat for a few hours. We decided to pop into a place with people – but not too many people – and order up some cured meats and other tapa-riffic delights.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

As the sun was starting to drop down from the sky, we figured we’d better check out the park I mentioned at the beginning. Walking down its esplanades felt like the end of a movie…

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

…only to be greeted with this beast at the other end. Hello, friend.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

The Paseo de los Ingleses was completed in 2010, providing an exquisite pathway along the edge of Ronda’s cliffs. We were able to see all kinds of things from this vantage point, and enjoyed watching someone’s sheep run around like maniacs. No picture of that part, sorry!

Dusk was coming faster than we’d have liked, so we hurried back to the car and jumped on the road that heads south out of town. While the oncoming darkness didn’t allow for very good pictures, or very good views of the 90-degree drop-offs on the side of the mountain road, we did manage to grab some spectacular color in the distance.

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Driving through a few white villages that felt completely abandoned on a Saturday evening…

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

…donkey!

Ronda, Spain by Jets Like Taxis

Yeah, that’s right. And if it wasn’t for the pet dog that darted in front of our car, we never would have gotten to stop and take a picture of its owner. Walking his donkey with his car.

Gotta love it. And as darkness took over our day, making the rugged landscapes and beautiful white villages all but disappear, we headed back down from the mountains and made our way back to Seville.

While Ronda is a well-known town and quite a tourist attraction, it’s also very quaint. Its architecture, history, mountaintop setting, and historic spectacles make for a place in which we could easily spend more time. After all, our jaunt around the white villages turned into one day in one town, which still wasn’t enough time for complete exploration. Don’t be fooled by the guidebooks or zillion tourist shops that line the main street in Ronda. It’s well worth a visit; and if you’re even somewhat like us, you’ll find one day to be anything but enough.

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Have you ever been to Ronda? Any thoughts or insights? Let us know what’s on your mind in the comments below!