Part 18: Marbella and Ronda


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The Trip

We finished our stay in Granada, grabbed our rental car from the remote parking (several kilometers away) and headed out to a small town called Ronda.  Our path took us south from Granada at the foot of the mountains, past the Sierra Nevada to the coast.  From the coast, we headed west to Marbella, then headed back into the mountains to Ronda.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Along the highway from Granada to the coast, we passed huge bridges and windmills.

We came upon a set of large dams right next to the highway.

On the coast road we crossed this odd bridge.

The coast road went through the mountains passing from tunnel to bridge and back into another tunnel.  Several of the tunnels were more than one kilometer long and one was over two kilometers.  This tunnel was short, but had houses built on the ridge above.

East of Malaga we passed this cable car that crossed the highway.

We left the coast road and went into Marbella and found a place to park.  Marbella is new and clean, Spain's version of La Jolla, CA.  Note the mountain peaks in the distance.

Marbella caters to tourists so there were many tourist services including horse and carriage available for rent.  The traffic circle had this nice statue.

We went to the Malecon and came upon this nice statue with the weather sign.

The wind was howling at the beach, making it quite cold and uncomfortable.  But, this fellow was manning his sand castle scouting for tips.

On a calm summer's day, this area would be wall-to-wall people.  Today, due to the wind, it was deserted.  We found a nice Italian restaurant next to the Malecon and had a great, if a bit expensive, lunch that included sushi.

After lunch we headed though the mountains north of Marbella to Ronda.  I had no idea what was there, other than it was a suggestion from a friend.  We got lost, ended up in a canyon and had to turn around.  From the turn around, we spotted these houses built into the cliff.  We regrouped from our "positionally uncertain" circumstance and headed in the correct direction.

Turn out that Ronda is built around a huge canyon, with buildings on both sides.  Our hotel was on the cliff next to an awesome bridge.  Above is the view from our patio.

Looking generally west, only a small portion of the bridge was visible.

Ronda caters to tourists, thus the horse and carriage.

A partial view of the bridge, again from our window.

Several floors below us was the dining terrace that had a great view of the bridge.

Looking down from our patio, the cliff was dauntingly high.

A bigger view of the bridge, but still not the entire thing.

We off-loaded our stuff and hiked around town.  From the bridge we could see more of the canyon to the west.

The opposite side of the bridge had great views as well.

There was a Parador on the north side of the canyon and we intended to stay there but they were full.  There is a walk around the canyon rim where we could see a bit more of the bridge.

There was a trail that went down to the flats on the south side of the canyon.  Note the wall at the foot of the hill.

From the rim walk, we got a great vista of farm lands to the west of Ronda.  Note the gate structure at the bottom left of the photo above.

There was an overlook point accessible on foot.

The homes were built right on the cliff.

A more complete view of the bridge.  A lot of effort was expended on this structure.

We crossed to the south side and got a view of the Parador.  I think the rooms were probably nicer, but our room was right on the cliff.

A view of the Don Miguel Hotel.  Our room at the upper left of the visible rooms.

As night started to fall, the lights were turned on illuminating the underside of the bridge.

Later into the evening, the lights illuminated the entire canyon.

We were not sure what was in Ronda, but were absolutely blown away.  Kathleen did an awesome job of getting us a room right on the edge of the cliff.  The room was just ok, but the view was awesome.  And, dinner at the hotel was great as well.

Tomorrow, we head to Seville.

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