Iglesia Santa Maria, Ronda

Ronda, Spain, again, this time a video of the interior of the Iglesia Santa Maria de la Encarnacion. Fine displays of icons, books, and more. Take a look.

I remain amazed at how many fine examples of such churches exist in Spain. They have survive, wars, economic turmoil, and worse. Yet, they persevere. Amazing.

Published in: on July 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Upscale Dining, Ronda

Regular Bent Page readers may have noticed I’ve had a number of posts about Ronda, Spain. Well, here’s another one, and it’s also about food, my second favorite subject. This time we’re leaving the regular chow behind for an upscale supper. Due to the volcano in Iceland many tourists were unable to make the journey to Spain. Thus, Ronda was quiet, especially the restaurants. In other words, reservations were not necessary. (Take note: always make reservations if you’re interested in a particular restaurant. A few minutes on the phone will prevent hours of disappointment.)

We chose Sol y Sombra for supper. Showers passed just before we set out for the place, creating a movie-like scene.

Inside, we were one of only four tables due to the aforementioned volcanic activity. Our waiter was a friendly chap, eager to chat because he wasn’t as busy as usual. We took his recommendation for a local wine that turned out to go well with our food. Let’s get to the plates, shall we? Appetizers: feast upon this creative take on salad greens, tomatoes, and dressing.

Or, if you like your starter a bit heavier why not try the asparagus with salmon and sauce like this:

Both of these were presented beautifully. Tasty, too, although the sauce on the asparagus was a touch heavy. Hence, more wine! Moving along to the main course. How about this duck concoction.

Yes, that’s a strip of duck breast wrapped around a fig, several of them in fact. Stunningly good. Then there was seared pork with an interesting salsa of peppers and chives.

Wow, reviewing these photos, I’m reminded of another reason why I found Ronda to be my favorite place visited during this trip. The people on the street, in the shops, and at my hotel were universally friendly and helpful. All of them were eager to chat, some of them as interested in the United States as I was in Spain. These exchanges added an educational element to the visit that I might have otherwise missed between sightseeing and fantastic meals like the one shown above.

Published in: on June 24, 2010 at 10:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ronda’s Streets, Spain

Ronda, Spain, offers those who like to walk a compact experience. This photo essay shows several streets that exemplify what the pedestrian would encounter while traversing this interesting city. Actually, Ronda is more like a big town that has been split into several parts, each with a slightly different character. My hotel was located not far from the main route out of town. There I found many arcaded buildings with shops on the ground floor as seen below.

Walking toward the gorge spanned by the famous bridges (which I covered in a video some posts back), I passed by this tower, which was built as a minaret and then later converted to other purposes. There are a number of buildings like this, which is to be expected in an area that has seen several different ruling cultures over the years.

Moving along, I encountered a smart district of boutiques and restaurants where the avenues were mostly closed to auto traffic.

Certain times of the day you will see delivery vehicles there, but only a few. By comparison, there are other streets which combine small businesses and residential structures as seen below.

In areas like this you have to be careful as cars come dodging around those blind corners. Keep your ears tuned for the sound of whining engines, but also you eyes for sweeping vistas like the  next one.

Due to the geography of Ronda’s position, there are plenty of views lurking between the buildings. At the time of this writing there were only a few small suburbs developed outside the main part of the city. Therefore, the surrounding countryside remains dedicated to farm and pasture, making for beautiful sights even while you’re in the middle of town. And don’t miss those mountains in the distance! Its easy to become overstimulated in places like Ronda. However, if you slow down, stop for a snack, pause for a photo, chat with your pals or a stranger, you’ll enhance your visit by a factor of ten.

Published in: on June 23, 2010 at 9:29 am  Leave a Comment  
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Ronda’s Bridges, Spain

Ronda, Spain, was among my top three places to visit during my recent journey to that country. The town is famous for its bridges. The Puente Nuevo was begun in 1751 and completed in 1793. There are two other bridges lower in the gorge that are much older. The following video gives an overview of these sights from several different angles.

Don’t limit yourself to a quick look at the bridges. Ronda also has a number of churches worth seeing as well as a famous bull ring, smart shopping streets, and great restaurants. I’ll have more on these in future posts.

Published in: on June 17, 2010 at 12:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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