Have you heard of Ronda? I hadn't when I started researching for my fall trip to Spain. Turns out Ronda's a stunning Pueblo Blanco, or white town, conveniently situated between Sevilla and Granada. If you're travelling in Andalucia, Ronda is a great resting place between the two larger cities. It's a nice day trip and an even better overnight stop (especially if you're the outdoorsy type who likes to hike.) Spend the night and you'll have the chance to explore at your leisure and devote more time to the town's many sites and restaurants. If you're like me, you'll spend most of your stay meandering from viewpoint to viewpoint, gawking at the incredible mountain views.
Ronda is carved in half by the massive canyon of the Guadalevín River, necessitating the construction of successive bridges. The Puente Nuevo, or New Bridge, is the one you'll see photographed in all of the guide books (and the last photo of this post.) Across the New Bridge is a charming old town full of twists and turns, cobbled streets, and whitewashed walls. During my explorations I came across a tiny, tucked away bakery on the old side of bridge staffed by an adorable and super sweet young lady. I don't know the name or the address, but it was quite near the Casa Don Bosco. I gratefully accepted samples of manchego and candied fig before I fumbling along with my broken Spanish, asking about this sweet and that, eventually ending up with a piece of deeply caramelized almond brittle. It provided just enough protein, and a bit of a sugar rush, to keep me going until I found the perfect restaurant for a late lunch.
What's the most decadent breakfast you can imagine? Along with the English fry up and French chocolate filled croissants, the Spanish tradition of churros and chocolate must be right there at the top of the list. It's not just for tourists, I saw many a local happily dunking away. The trick is to have your churros in the morning, like a true Spaniard. If you aren't into sweets for breakfast, the somewhat more virtuous option is a tostada, aka, toast. Just take one crusty roll, add a drizzle of olive oil, a smear of crushed tomato, perhaps a slice of ham, and you've got breakfast. Over the course of my stay in Andalucia, I indulged in both breakfasts several times.
I'm just back from a week and a half in Spain. I spent my time in Andalucia. A week in Sevilla, a day in Ronda, three more in Granada, closing with an evening in Madrid. It's a beautiful region. Here are a few shots from Sevilla, where the streets are lined with orange trees, the kids are adorable, and, best of all, you can afford to eat and stay with ease. Hover over the photos to read the caption.