We were a small group of travellers setting off to see the historical sites which Ronda had to offer! We caught the train at 10.05am and we had a wonderful train ride which took us through the El Chorro gorge and saw the famous”El Camanito del Rey” a walkway now fallen into disrepair which runs along the steep walls of the narrow gorge of El Chorro which in 1921 King Alfonso XIII crossed for the inauguration of the dam Conde del Guadalhorce, and it became known by its present name. The countryside was spectacular as we made our way along and we also managed to see a few Griffon Vultures.
Arriving in Ronda we made our way down to the Plaza Espana via the Carmelite convent in order to view the hand of St Teresa which was removed by an enterprising monk and placed in a copper glove surrounded by jewelry with precious and semi-precious stones and had been in the possession of Franco whose headquarters were at Salamanca. In February 1937, after the fall of Málaga, Franco received an item stolen from a convent in Ronda and found in the baggage of a captured republican. It was said to be the
hand of St. Teresa of Avila. Franco kept it at his bedside as a talisman until he died in 1975 and resisted all requests to return it to the convent in Ronda. We paid our last respects to her and to the nuns by way of donations and buying some of their delicious sweet meats and walked down to the Alameda Park taking in the wonderful scenery across to the Serrania de Ronda an area of outstanding natural beauty. We then made out way to the main square walking along the Paseo de Orson Welles calling in at the tourist office and then walking down to see the famous El Tajo Gorge. I have to say even though I have been to Ronda many times before it never fails to inspire me its situation is so spectacular.
We then made our way to the Casa de Don Bosco a palace built at the beginning of the 20th Century it is located at the Tajo´s edge in the heart of the old part of Ronda and was given to the Salesman Priest Order as a nursing home for old and ill priests It is located at the Tajo´s edge at the heart of the historical city quarters of Ronda. before making our way to the Mondragon Palace which has twin Mudejar towers and was supposedly the residence of Ronda´s Moorish kings. Ferdinand and Isabella are said to have stayed there. There is lovely patios which have lovely brick arches, mudejar´stucco tracery, mosaics and coffered ceilings and on the second floor a small museum which had archeological items found near Ronda. After our visit to the Mondragon it was almost 3pm so we decided that we should look for somewhere to eat and choose a delightful restaurant where we ate and drank and made merry!!
We decided that we would love to go back again to see those parts of Ronda that we missed! Altogether it was a magical trip and as Sue (Harrison) said she loved its uniqueness!!!
For Decembers meeting (first Tuesday of the month) we are having Maggie (Silwood) who will be discussing “The History of Food” and also Sue Harrison will be talking on the subject of the “Civil War”. Maggie will also discuss a visit to the Flamenco Museum in Malaga and hopefully a visit to a flamenco show!
I enclose photographs taken by Andrew (Henbest) and two by me! I am sending on Andrews photographs separately in another email as I cannot seem to upload them from my own email!!
Looking forward to seeing you all at the next meeting,