18 Hours in Ronda, Spain

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Hello my friends! So far on our adventure throughout Spain we have highlighted our explorations of Barcelona and Granada. The third city on our wonderful trip was beautiful Ronda.  As I’d alluded to in my Granada recap, we’d had a relaxing morning planned in Granada prior to catching our afternoon train to Ronda. Alas, as we rolled out of bed, found a cute restaurant, and had just began sipping our cafe con leches, our quiet morning was quickly spoiled as I started reading Rick Steves‘ section regarding travel from Granada to Ronda.  You can read the section below that sent me into a panic.

Although tracks are laid, high speed train service from Granada isn’t running yet. Instead you’ll go by bus to Antequera (1.25 hours), then continue on the AVE train. Regular-speed train service has also been interrupted of late. Expect to take a bus to Antequera and transfer there, regardless of your destination.

We had purchased train tickets from Granada to Ronda. Nowhere on these tickets did we find any mention of a bus and based on Steves’ advice there was going to be a bus involved somehow to get us to our destination.  Needless to say, there was a frantic hour of Googling routes from Granada to Antequera.  Our first experience of churros and chocolate was an afterthought at best as we were attempting to solve this worrisome quandary.  Eventually, Sarah ended up matching train numbers and reasoning that our bus would be waiting for us at the train station.  After walking to the train station, our suspicious were confirmed much to our relief, as we attempted to laugh off our previous, fast fading alarm. We heaved audible sighs as we took our seats on the bus, before launching in to an animated discussion of how panicked I’d been. Two fellow travelers from Israel who looked probably as frazzled as we felt turned around in their seats and recounted a surprisingly similar story. Moral of the story, if two different sets of travelers had this issue on a random Tuesday in the tourist off season, I can only imagine this is a regular occurrence.

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Regardless, we eventually arrived in Ronda where we walked from the train station to our Airbnb in Old Town.  The picture directly above is the mind blowing view from our Airbnb that was surprisingly affordable.   I can’t tell you how many times Sarah and I would run outside to the balcony just get look again at this remarkable bridge.

As we only had one afternoon in Ronda we immediately dropped off our stuff, before heading out to get some much needed food and plot our adventures. We were struggling to again find a clear cut description in Rick Steves’ Ronda section as how to traverse to the bottom of the El Tajo gorge, whereupon we ultimately gave up and asked our helpful waiter.  He kindly drew us a map, which in context made Steves’ descriptions make much more sense.  With full stomachs, we set out to explore, marveling at how big the bridge was once we made it to the bottom of the gorge.  Sarah and I commented on the overall lack of guard rails and reveling in the sense of adventure with not knowing where the trails would end up taking us.

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We walked until dusk forced us to turn back, both of us enamored with the beautiful landscape and scenery.  Once back to the starting point, sweaty from the steep incline of the walk, we set out to enjoy Ronda’s paseo and partake in some shopping. I picked up a red coat that you’ll be able to spot in the remainder of my Spain trip due to my black North Face not quite being warm enough for winter here.

The next morning, after getting a really great breakfast, Sarah and I reversed our trek to the train station where we set off for Cordoba and Sevilla! Check out next week for our quick stop at Cordoba.


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