Ariel of Hamble
Jim and Valerie SHURVELL
Mon 31 Aug 2009 20:56



Wednesday, 26th August, 2009.


We were up early to take Jackie and Mark to Malaga airport for their 8 a.m. flight to Gatwick.  It was a sad journey for us all as we had spent 10 weeks sailing, talking, laughing and generally enjoying each others company.


As we had the car for another day we decided we would go to Ronda in the mountains.  We had not expected 37 km of hair bends with lunatic drivers over taking when they could not see around the next bend.  Quite an experience but the views were magnificent.


Ronda sits on a massive rocky outcrop straddling a precipitous limestone cleft.  Because of its impregnable position the town was one of the last Moorish bastions to fall to the Christians in 1485.  The Puerto Nuevo is the “New Bridge” over the 330 feet deep Tajo gorge which was a feat of civil engineering in the late 18th century.  Across the gorge in El Mercadillo, the newer town is the bull ring; one of Spain’s oldest which was inaugurated in 1785.


We visited the Santa Maria la Mayor, a church with beautiful altars and paintings and church museum pieces.  The bell tower stands high above the town hall next door which was remodelled in the 20th century and incorporates parts of the older building and includes the Mudejar ceiling.


It was an interesting walk around the back streets looking at the houses along the cobbled alleys, with whitewashed fronts and grilled windows.