Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ronda, Spain & other things

This whole last week has been very un-normal. NOT that I'm complaining, it's been nice, but I also feel like it will be twice as hard to go back to work after break. I've only worked 2 hours since last Thursday, so instead I've been filling my time with fitness classes (finally!!) and Dexter marathons. It's been nice. And then next week I only work 3 days and then it's off to Madrid!

Since I seem to have dropped the ball lately on this whole blogging incessantly thing, let's start off with last Saturday when I went to Ronda.

Ronda = love.
Never heard of Ronda? You can read all about its history here. In a nutshell, Andalucía is famous for its pueblos blancos, or 'white towns'. Andalucía is notoriously hot in the summer months and so houses are painted white, or other pale colors, to better reflect the sunlight. This results in little white-washed towns dotting the country side, and some have become more famous than others. Ronda, Arcos de la Frontera, Castellar de la Frontera, and Zahara de la Sierra are a few that I have on my list to visit.

It's hard to see the bridges in this picture, but you can see how the city is built on cliffs, divided by a river. 

Eli and I took a day trip there on Saturday. It's a bit of a trip from Algeciras, 2 hours by train, but the landscape was stunning and the trip went by quickly. We didn't have anything planned, so when we found the main street with shopping stores that we didn't have in Algeciras, we got a little sidetracked.
But after some retail/chocolate cake/café con leche therapy, we were back on track to find the stunning views that the city is famous for!

The pictures below are of the Puente Nuevo, the New Bridge, (which was actually built in the late 1700's.) The bridge crosses the Tajo gorge, which lies 100 feet below. This bridge, and the views off the sides of the cliffs, are the reason Ronda is so famous.


Trains run through Ronda daily, and spending 4 hours walking around this gorgeous town makes for a great day trip.

The next day, Sunday, I went on a short hike to explore the southern coast of Algeciras. Silly me, I didn't bring my camera because 1) I already have 4,500 pictures on my computer and can't afford to add any more and 2) assumed that the views wouldn't be anything new since I'd already hiked the coast down to Tarifa. Silly me.
The views were stunning.
[Source] There's Africa in the background!

El faro de Punta Carnero is the local lighthouse in Algeciras. It's about an hour walk along a twisty-windy back road that follows the coast line. The mediterranean was a light crystal blue, the outline of Morocco was perfectly visible, and the flowers were just starting to bloom. It really was a picture perfect day. 
[SourceOld boat dock remains
[SourceLooking out over Playa Getares

These next pictures were taken by Christine, from christineinspain. She is a ridiculously gifted photographer and hopefully won't be too annoyed I used her pictures if I give her lots of credit for them :)
Since I bite my nails, this is usually my only orange-peeling option. 
That's Gibraltar in the background.
Hanging out with some ruins, could be 30 years old, could be 300 years old! You never really know.

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