(Get my clever play upon words?? Joe Jackson, ‘Is She Really Going Out With Him’) 😝. No, that isn’t a comment on poor David being dragged about Spain.
We have a late train to Ronda, so time for another lovely breakfast on the Nueva Plaza in Granada. This time I opt for churros. Mmm.
Our train arrives without fanfare or apparently conductors. It is medio distancia train, a commuter train between the towns. Fortunately there are lots of electronic signs that indicate we are on the right train. David double checks with the agents inside the station. The train trip is uneventful. For the first part we are facing backwards looking at where we came from,but at a midway station the train pulls out the other way and we can see where we are going to.
After 7 station stops and a few unscheduled stops to let the fast trains by, we arrive in Ronda. Tiny little train station. We head out, with our google map instructions in hand. It is a fairly easy walk down to the hotel we are staying at. Our first hotel stay in Spain! Room, air conditioning, wifi, no shared bathroom!! We are looking forward to this!
The hotel is on a main street across from a park. We check in and head up the stairs (1st floor is not the main floor!) and all the way to the back of the hotel. The room is clean, large and has a good size bed. We turn on the air conditioning and get the wifi password. Hmmm wifi isn’t very strong or reliable. But we are hungry after our longish train ride. So. We head out to see the town.
What a pretty place. We just missed the tourist office being open, but the front desk had given us a little map. Ronda has about 58,000 people. There is the old city sitting on a cliff and separated from the ‘new’ city by a deep gorge. The New Bridge across this gorge was built in the mid 1700s and is a major tourist attraction. But we will go there tomorrow. We find a nice little plaza and have a lovely dinner-Rabo de Toro a la Serrano (Ox Tail house speciality) for me!
And then we decide to wander along the back routes of the new town. We find lovely views, the old bridge and the seven springs fountain, where I took a drink.
This route also causes a bit of a climb up a cobbled road and into the old city. We skirt the main sights and end up on a downward road that led to the foot of Ronda… Looking up is cliffs and bits of views of buildings. There is also the remnants of the outer gates/walls.
With all the climbing up and climbing down we decided to take a local bus back up the hill – best euro spent! We stayed on the bus past our hotel, then I read the ticket and realized it was only good to the end of the line! We got off the bus at the next stop and started meandering back. When we found ourselves at the back end of a ‘procession’. Marching band, people with staffs with crosses on them, altar boys with a censer, and a huge Santa Cruz carving being carried by 15 people under a purple velvet cover! Well, this was new to us!!
We followed along for a bit and then wandered over to see the sun set
There were a bunch of teenagers (mostly girls) who chattered so loudly and passionately, it made me think of chickens on cocaine! They were sitting on the wall with their feet dangling to the drop below, which looks like 700 or 800 feet down. Nothing to stop their fall! Ah the young, invincible. Made us nervous. So we went for a drink!
Up to one of the pedestrian streets, sit down enjoying our awesomely delicious wine and beer when we hear the marching band! The procession passed right by us as we sat there drinking. All the cafés along the way pushed their tables and chairs back to make room. Old ladies came out on their balconies. The band played on, the icon moved slowly down the street in beat with the band, and then there was a change of carriers in front of us. A lady asked me in Spanish if I knew why there was a procession! My answer – and horrible pronunciation, fully implied I wouldn’t know!
We finished our drinks and headed back to the hotel.
Wifi still crap. So we went to bed. Well! At 12:30 in the morning the garbage collectors came to empty the glass refuse bin just below our window (which was closed) and apparently they couldn’t hear themselves over the din either, because they were yelling loudly. And people use the alley way all night, and they are drunk and/or Spanish, so they have to yell their comments to each other. It finally quieted down around 5 am..but then the church bell went off at 7.
It was not a great sleep. But tomorrow us another day!