Day 6: Ronda
This has been such an amazing trip and I don’t know quite where to begin! I’d like to comment on my favorite spots and I hope no one minds because some have already been commented on by other students. Several people have commented on the small city of Toledo, which just by chance, just happens to be one of my favorite places that we visited. The winding streets and the huge hills that I felt I’d never reach to the top of, and the beautifully rich architecture was quite a sight to behold. I think the reason I loved Toledo so much was that despite it being such a huge tourist attraction, the city itself remains quite small by American standards, yet so rich in culture, religion, beliefs, tradition, and food. The people were so welcoming and I felt like I had come home.
Another small city I really enjoyed was Ronda. I’m not sure if it was because it and I share the same name or because of the wonderful architecture it contains or the great people we met along the way. Our trip there was brief but the wonderful landscapes, small rolling hills, and rich, sprawling farmland which surrounded it was quite awesome. The city itself is situated on cliffs above a river. We got some awesome pictures of the cliffs, which were quite breathtaking. The fact that Julien, myself and three of my fellow classmates sort of got lost from our group and were able to explore for a while on our own also added to the attraction for me. Guided tours are a wonderful thing, but being able to explore on your own allows you to find the diamond in the rough, so to speak.
During our long ride to Seville, at least I believe it was Seville, we begged our tour guide Sam to allow us to drive about an hour out of our way to stop at the beach in a small city called Málaga. The architecture of this city was absolutely amazing. It was a mixture of old and new with many multicolored homes along the long winding streets. Here is where I encountered the Spanish style homes I had seen on TV and at the movie theater, with clay tiled roofs that were painted in varying shades of the rainbow, such as deep yellow, hot salmon pink, mint green, rust-orange, and sea-blue-greens. The sea was gloriously cold but quite refreshing as we collected sea shells and rocks to bring home as mementos. The people were quite friendly and very welcoming.
Later we saw the Rock of Gibraltar and Africa while traveling inland from the city of Málaga and the gorgeous beach where we had lunch. Speaking of lunch, the food is absolutely awesome. Various types of fish, rice, clams, oysters, several different types of salads, desserts to die for! The hard crusty bread just melts in your mouth. A main staple in most Spaniards diet is various types of cheese and ham. Cheese and ham are served at almost every meal in some form!