From Seville we headed to south to Ronda. A wonderful drive, such a contrast to the harsher desert like country that we'd experienced further north. Here we saw lush farmland, cropping country, animals grazing and green countryside!
Ronda is exquisite - you know its on the list of top tourist attractions when you see the number of coaches parked up. But in saying that, the setting for the town is breathtaking, the scenic views (from all angles) magnificent and the feel of the town charming.
I love it that the Puento Nuevo, New Bridge, is over 200years old!!!. It connects the old and new town over a 100 metre ravine and was built in 1751.
|No end of eating places|
Ronda is considered the birthplace of modern bullfighting - the Plaza de Toros holds pride of place and part is now a museum. Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles were fans of the sport, but also had a real love for the town and used it as a setting for many of their novels.
The Arab Baths, Banos Arabes, were built in the 11th century, used up until the 17th and are one of the best preserved in Europe. Nowadays they are used as a setting for the odd classical concert.
Next stop was Mijas Pueblo, described as one of Spains hidden treasures, a typical whitewashed Spanish village, nestled up in the mountains behind Fuengirola. Don't know if I agree with the 'hidden' bit - as thousands of tourists, just like us, flock there on a daily basis to keep the economy alive. The beautiful, flower lined, cobbled alleys and nooks are stuffed with tiny shops, overflowing with local ceramics, leatherwork, jewellery, artwork and good old not so attractive souvenirs.
The surrounding area accommodates at least seven golf courses, so that keeps the men happy while the women are here spending.
|Back street of Mijas|
The numerous view points of the coastline are stunning, and we even got to
admire some rock climbers making the most of the natural cliffs.
The Mijas donkeys, Burro Taxis, are beautifully kitted out and do make a wonderful sight but sadly there is on going controversy about the way in which they are used and treated. Like the bull fighting, which is a strong part of this towns culture, it is an old tradition of Spain and we all have opinions either way.
|All dressed up and ready for action|
Estepona - our last delightful find, thanks to David and Jude as it's a favourite of theirs. One of the few coastal towns that still has character and charm despite all the tourism in the Costa del Sol. Narrow cobbled streets to wander through, unusual shops, great cafes, tapas bars - traditional Spanish fare at great prices.
|David and Judy - happy new homeowners|
And to top things off it is only a few miles down the coast from where David and Jude found their new "Home in the Sun"!!!