Ronda – a Small Town with a BIG Bridge

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Photos by Pixabay

A Spectacular Sight

Puente Nuevo bridge is one of Spain’s most photographed sights, and after visiting there on our tour of Spain, it’s not hard to see why.  This medieval masterpiece towers 390 feet above the canyon floor. It’s an amazing feat of engineering made even more so by the primitive tools available at the time. Construction began in 1759 and took 34 years to complete.

A Bridge Too Far

The first attempt at building this bridge was in 1735. It had only one arch, was poorly constructed, and was thrown together in just 8 months. In 1741 it collapsed killing 50 people. The architects Jose Garcia and Juan Camacho, were no doubt out of business after this debacle.

The current bridge was built with longevity and safety in mind. With three upper arches and a lower-middle arch, this structure has stood the test of time.

The Puente Nuevo crosses the Guadalevin River, which flows down a deep gorge. This gorge effectively splits the city of Ronda in half, and while this was a great deterrent to enemy armies, it made it nearly impossible for citizens to get from one side to the other.  Completion of the bridge must have been a godsend to the inhabitants of the town.

A Gruesome Past

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While Puente Neuva bridge is a glorious edifice, it has a dark side. The square chamber located in the middle of the bridge was once used to house prisoners. Understandably, few if any escaped.

Another grim chapter in the bridge’s history was during the Spanish Civil War, 1936 – 1939. At this time the prison was used as a torture chamber and captured opponents were tossed off the bridge to a watery grave below – very far below.

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Today Ronda is a sublime and peaceful place. It is reached by a steep road which winds through olive and lemon orchards and past gorgeous old homes. Seeing Puente Neuvo is an unforgettable experience, so if you’re ever in  Malaga make sure and include Ronda in your travel plans.

Have you been to Spain? What was your favorite destination? I’d love to hear from you –

For other great bridges see Calmkate’s Friday Fun.

For more of Library Lady’s travels in Spain see “The Mysterious Caves of Drach“.

Valldemossa Monastery

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Valdemossa Monastery – Picture by Pixabay.

What’s more fascinating than an ancient monastery? Ghostly footsteps echo in the halls and vestiges of mystery and intrigue waft through ancient corridors.
                                                        (Name of the Rose, anyone?)

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One of my all-time favorite monasteries is Clon Mcnoise in Ireland, but today we were visiting the village of Valldemossa on the Spanish island of Mallorca.  The monastery was originally a royal palace but became home to a group of Carthusian monks in 1399. It’s known for its picturesque bell tower and gothic charm.

As we rounded the corner and the monastery came into view, I tried not to melt into a scenery induced puddle. (I’ve been told I’m an overly excitable tourist, but what’s the point of traveling if you’re not blown away by the sights you see?!)

The first glimpse of this ancient edifice was like something out of a movie set. Perched on a hill, the tower dwarfed the surrounding buildings, its white stone walls glowing in the morning sun. This was definitely my kind of place.

View of the village from Valldemossa’s heights.

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Cobblestones and rock walls. Photo by Pixabay

We followed a  winding road up into the hills and enjoyed the views of the local neighborhoods.  Upon arrival, we purchased tickets to tour the monastery for 8.50 Euros. Continue reading

Doors of Spain

Spain was never on my bucket list, but it should have been. I recently spent 10 days there and have at least that many stories to tell.  My husband and I love traveling, but my favorite part is coming home and writing about all our adventures.
Midevil yet modern, Spain is a country that percolates with positive energy – think  Flamenco dancing and Spanish guitar, yet it’s steeped in ancient and often controversial traditions like bullfighting.
We visited Madrid, Malaga, and the island of Mallorca (Majorca). We ate suckling pig at the oldest restaurant in the world, saw a medieval pharmacy at Valdemossa Monastery, and gaped at the magnificent bridge in Rondo. So much to talk about, but first . . . the doors!
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I spotted this Spanish jewel in Madrid. What would it feel like to walk through this door every day? Who lives here and what are they like? Doors make me wonder what goes on behind them.
As for this one, notice the lovely ironwork on the top and the mailbox on the left. This is not actually the door into the house, but into the courtyard which leads to the house.
In addition to this wonderful door, the roughed up surface surrounding it has a look that many people with new homes pay big bucks to achieve. Chip and Joanna Gaines are you seeing this?

 

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Here’s another residential beauty, I’ll call it Blue 22. Similar to the first, with the look of the middle ages, this has a nameplate which I could probably read if I enlarged the picture. Wait, I’ll do just that and now you can see it too. The name is still a little blurry, but the title says Notary Public, so this may be a home or a home office. Hmm . . . while this door is admirable – well-worn and rustic, if this is a business entrance it could use a spit shine. Continue reading

Uber Blunder

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It was September 2018.  My husband and I were looking forward to a dream trip to Spain but we almost missed our flight. Here’s why:
We’d decided to be cool and trendy and book an Uber for the drive to the airport. This was a new experience for us, as we’d previously relied on kids, or friends and neighbors for transport, but this time we had to leave at 5:00 A.M. and hated to bother anyone.
uber photo“Uber’s a great idea.” said our kids.  “Here – we’ll help you set it up.”
After a group effort, (John and I require help with this kind of thing) we were able to download the app and even schedule an early morning ride. We felt very high-tech.
Fast forward to the day before our departure. My husband was chatting with our good friend and across-the-street neighbor, Paul. When he found out we were paying someone to take us to the airport, he said, “You should have asked me.  I’d take you.”
“No no,” my husband assured him. “It’s all set up. We’re good.”

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The next morning we sat outside waiting for our ride. It was cold and dark and very lonely. 5:00 A.M. came and went with no sight of an Uber. Concerned, John double-checked the reservation and to our horror, we discovered our ride was scheduled for 5 P.M.!
Continue reading

Spain – Lovely Palma De Mallorca

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Published on My Itchy Travel Feet

Seeing the three major sites of Palma de Mallorca in one day is like trying to sample all 20 flavors at the gelato stand – a bit of a challenge, but we did it and so can you. Read about our amazing day at My Itchy Travel Feet.