We were out the door about 9:30, anxious to explore beautiful Ronda. Our first stop was the pretty church right next to our apartment, La Colegiata Santa Maria la Mayor. This church is built on the site of the old city mosque. There are still some remnants of the mosque visible in the church, which was started in the 15th century. Most of the church standing now is from the mid 1800's.
There are several interesting altar pieces along the nave, but not full chapels like we usually see:
We went down into the crypt, which has been converted to a gallery area, showing some reproductions of local treasures, as well as some older items. This was a beautiful old bible, from the 1600's:
After the church, we walked across the plaza to the pretty park we can see from our window. Here we are:
We continued down a set of steps, following a walk shown on the map given to us by Hilde.
We saw a church down the street in the opposite direction, so we took a detour:
We decided to snap a photo of us at the top, and just as David was setting the camera up the bell rang--and I was standing right under it! Scared the living daylights out of us, and our ears rang for several minutes!
We continued on our route, walking along the old city walls for quite a ways:
Just in front of the Moorish Bridge are the 13th century Arab Baths. We paid our small admission fee and went in for a closer look--it was fascinating!
The lower part of the baths, it was nice and cool underground, a welcome relief from the hot sun:
After leaving the underground ruins. we even ran into Spiderman! He was so tickled when I said "Oh, hola Spiderman"! What a cutie!
After the Moorish Baths we continued on our way--UPHILL! Up and up and up! The views made it all worth it, though:
Looking at Puente Nueve ("New Bridge")--built in 1751. It took 42 years to complete, and spans the 390 foot deep gorge. We re going to hike down the other side into the gorge tomorrow!
After climbing and climbing in the hot sun we were definitely more than ready for a rest, lunch and cold beverages! We sat down at the first cafe we came to, choosing a table in the shade. Here's David and his well deserved cold beer, just Coke Light for me:
We ordered an assortment of 5 small tapas--they were only 1 Euro each. Cold Russian salad, as they call it here-it's just potato salad, pork rinds with potato chips (yup! They were delicious!), a cold tomato and octopus salad (my favorite), and a local specialty called Migas de Ronda--a strange concoction of garlic bread crumbs and thin sliced cured ham--just OK.
A Picasso! I'm not sure what year he painted this, as he died in 1973, but the poster is from the 2006 season:
And--as if that was not enough--there was also an antique firearm and military uniform display. For some odd reason, I really enjoy the old firearms, and I am so NOT a gun girl!
And just for our favorite neighbor "Super Nate"--we thought of you, we know you would have loved the bull fighting stuff! We picked up this t-shirt just for you, hope you like it.
We made our way back "home" about 5 and enjoyed a little siesta time; reading, loading pictures and working on our blog. We could get used to this!
Our plan for the evening was to wander back out about 7 or so, do a little souvenir shopping, eat a late dinner and enjoy the sunset over the valley and the bridges all lit up.
We wandered along the streets, looking at the usual "tourist junque", and of course I bought the required fridge magnet. We found the main shopping/dining street--and it was hopping! Mostly locals; all meeting friends, strolling with their families or relaxing at a sidewalk cafe.
We walked many blocks, just enjoying the fun atmosphere. Eventually we were back at the Plaza de Espana, where we sat down for a drink and ordered a small cold seafood salad--it was delicious!
After our nice break we just strolled along, and eventually found ourselves in front of a large park, La Alameda Del Tajo, built in the early 1800's.
The sun was just setting, so we walked along the path for quite awhile, enjoying the gorgeous views and sunset. I took about 100 pictures, trying to get a good sunset picture, but our little point & shoot cameras just aren't good enough. Here's the best I could do:
It was now about 9:30, the sun had set and the bridge was lit up and beautiful. This is looking east:
We decided it was too late for a full dinner, so we enjoyed a nice stroll through the empty streets back to our apartment. Our "dinner" was a glass of wine and a few pieces of beef jerky--just right!
What a wonderful day it has been; we've walked miles and miles and climbed way too many stairs. We are both just plain tired. It wasn't exactly "early to bed", but we are two weary travelers!
Good night from wonderful, beautiful Ronda!