Saturday, October 25, 2014

RONDA: STREET SCENES AND DETAILS

We stayed two nights at the parador in Ronda, a city of some 40,000 that was the located furthest south on our tour of Portugal and southern Spain and only about 40 miles from the Mediterranean coast.  I thought I would start with some general scenes from the city.  First, a rare photo of both Geri and me (along with a little friend), rare because I generally had my hands on the camera, which is not well-suited to doing selfies.  This one was taken by our tour director Alberto.


Ronda is a major bullfighting city, with a large bull ring.  The "entertainment" has become controversial, as it is opposed by groups concerned with the humane treatment of animals.  I'm not sure how the "sport" could be defended on any grounds, although its advocates point out that the meat from the slaughtered animals is provided to the indigent.  Of course, that could be done without having the animals be tortured in the ring.  In any event, I took this shot of an iconic sculpture outside of the Ronda ring.


The city had its share of street musicians, including the following, who were pretty good but who didn't seem particularly happy about having their pictures taken.



I just kept walking, and I think they got over it.

Generally, we were on our own for lunches, and this is a shot of the street near our parador where several restaurants had al fresco seating and where we had a so-so lunch.


Ronda is notable in large part for its geography.  It is built on hills situated on either side of an impressive, 400 foot deep gorge.  There are only three bridges that cross the gorge, connecting the two parts of the city.  The so-called Roman Bridge is the oldest and is substantially below the level of most of the town and not very accessible.  Then there are the Old Bridge and the New Bridge.  The New Bridge is new only in the sense that it is not as old as the Old Bridge.  It was completed in 1793 and carries most of the town's traffic.  The Old Bridge, also known as the Arab Bridge, is somewhat lower down the gorge, but on some of our free time Geri and I ventured down to cross it.  It was built in the early 16th century and is gorgeous (no pun intended).  Here are a couple of shots of it that I took.



On our way back I took this shot of yet another narrow lane.  That's Geri using the wall for balance.


I also took a number of detail shots that I have kept, including the following.


These decorative wrought iron quarter-panels were quite popular throughout Spain, and I worked to find an interesting background to show this one off.

A painted ceiling detail.


And another one of my window shots that I liked not so much for the window as for the wall.


An interesting, if relatively recent, public wall plaque of a quote from Benjamin Disraeli.


A flower that caught my eye.


A tile roof, illustrating some of the underlying construction technique.


And a decorative hinge for a massive wooden door that I particularly liked for the quality of its rust.


John

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