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We decided to use our last day in Spain to adventure away from Seville and see the most famous of the Spanish white hill towns, Ronda.

There were a few more sights in Seville but Sherrie and I always prefer the character and charm of small towns.   Several friends and family recommended the town and we were not disappointed.

We didn’t plan this visit and as such relied on a single map of the old town in a guide-book. We just set the town into the sat nav and we were off!

After an hour and a half drive we arrived and found a great (and inexpensive car park) in the center of the newer town. The town is separated into two, the historic town center and the newer district, by the famous Puente Nuevo (new bridge) built in the 18th century (yup, really new…).

Puente Nuevo, “New Bridge,” in Ronda looking towards the historic side

After spending some time marveling at the bridge and the gorge it crosses, we walked over to the historic town center.  Funny thing, we met an Australian couple on the bridge we had previously met in Seville – and who were heading to Granada afterwards.  Quite funny to see the same couple in a few different places around Spain.

The historic town is not very large but we only had four hours and so we followed a walking tour recommended in our DK Eyewitness book to make sure we covered all the sights.  It was a nice tour.

Our first stop was La Casa del Rey Moro (“The house of the Moorish king” – although it was never the house of a king) where there exists an old water mine which travels down the gorge to the river.  It was an important feature which allowed access to water during the frequent sieges by either Christian or Moorish troops.  It is 365 steps down….and 365 steps back up 🙂

The trip was worth it.  The ravine was cool, the river was beautiful, and we watched the swallows flying through the canyon to their nests.

Sergio, Lucas, and Isabella traveling down the water mine at La Casa del Rey Moro

Inside the water mine of La Casa del Rey Moro

Lucas at the river in Ronda at the bottom of the water mine beneath La Casa del Rey Moro

The river in Ronda at the bottom of the water mine beneath La Casa del Rey Moro

Isabella resting in the canyon at the river in Ronda. Surprisingly, she was not posing for the camera.

Sherrie, Aurelia, Lucas, and Isabella at the river in Ronda beneath La Casa del Rey Moro

Sergio, Isabella, and Lucas at the entrance about to go back up the water mine beneath La Casa del Moro in Ronda

Sergio, Isabella, and Lucas resting in the garden after coming back up the 365 steps of the water mine from the river beneath La Casa del Moro in Ronda

Sergio, Isabella, and Lucas pose in the gardens of La Casa del Rey Moro in Ronda

After our stop at the water mine we continued our walking tour which led us past an old minaret and some very picturesque parts of Ronda.

Sergio, Lucas, and Isabella walking through Ronda

Isabella, Aurelia, Lucas, and Sherrie walking through Ronda

Buildings in Ronda – traditionally whitewashed

After walking through the town we found a nice plaza with a lot of tree cover in front of the Church of Santa Maria de la Encarnacion.

Church of Santa Maria de la Encarnacion, La Mayor

We stopped in the plaza for a rest and then continued to the Palacio de Mondragon which is not too far.  On our way we got in trouble with a lady for trying to pick an orange from a tree 🙂  The oranges grown in the cities of Spain are beautiful but not  very good but are rather used to make British marmalade.  However, we still wanted to try one.  Oh well.

We then visited the Palacio de Mondragon and the municipal museum that it encloses.  The museum was very well done and told the entire history of Ronda including the prehistory of the area through the Roman occupation and Moorish settlement.  We enjoyed the museum.  It is also located in a beautiful building.

Exterior of the Palacio de Mondragon in Ronda

Inner courtyard of the Palacio de Mondragon

After the museum we went back to the plaza for dinner and enjoyed a really nice time.  The kids also got to run around a bit and play with some other children who were just out of school.  During our meal a gentleman with a horse rode up to the restaurant for a drink and gave Lucas and Isabella a ride around the plaza.  We had a very nice time drinking beer, eating tapas, and attempting to communicate with the others around us 🙂

Isabella, Aurelia, Lucas, and Isabella sitting down for dinner in Ronda

Lucas, Aurelia, and Isabella make friends and play in the plaza – although neither groups spoke the other’s language they had a great time

Tomatoes and shrimp tapas

Chorizo and bruschetta with cheese and honey tapas

Lucas riding around the plaza in Ronda

Isabella riding around a plaza in Ronda

We had a great day in Ronda and wish we had a bit more time there, but maybe we’ll be back someday!

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