“Ronda”, every time I hear this name I think of the song from my baby boomer teenage years—“Help me Rhonda, help, help Me, Rhonda.”
I don’t even remember now who sang it! But, remembering is not the case with this gem of a town in the hills of Spain. My friend and I had heard about it, from a lady on the beach in Marbella. She called it “that magnificent white town in the mountains.”
Traveling to Ronda meant a beautiful drive through grove after grove of olive trees. We discovered a leather shop on the way, where we stopped. My friend bought a gorgeous Spanish leather jacket, patterned in all colors of brown. It fit her to a tee.
We arrived in Ronda in the afternoon. It is located on a rocky platform above the valley of the River Guadalevin. I recommend that baby boomer travelers consider a visit in October when tourist crowds are minimal.
What a wonderful surprise this little city turned out to be. No one who spoke of Ronda did it justice. We visited the Mondragon Palace, which was erected in the year 1491. The gardens, with their fountains, were amazing.
Walking the Cleft Boulevard, we discovered inspiring views of the valley that shelters the city. We stood on the Cleft of Ronda, which is a bridge that is extremely high, spanning the deepest waters of the Guadalevin River. It is the city’s symbol. Later, we wandered the shops of the town, bought leather purses, ate in one of the many restaurants in Plaza de Espana and enjoyed the beautiful sunny day.
As in all Spanish cities, the churches are magnificent, such was the case with Church Santa Maria La Mayorin. In the courtyard, in front of the church, a German movie company was filming. It was very interesting to watch since I could understand it all. The name of the movie was “Crossroad to Love”. Our visit was all too short, and we said we would come again.
A little history of Ronda:
During the Islamic Invasion of the city, around the year 1400, Ronda ranked among the most prominent cities in the South of Spain. It became the capital of an independent Islamic sovereign. The Catholic Kings of Spain recaptured Ronda in 1485. Convents, churches, and palaces were built.
Ronda would be a challenge to walk if one had difficulties with the ups and downs of hills. There is, however, a great solution to this. Horses and comfortable wagons will take tourists around the city, for a fee. The town is easy to navigate on foot if one is fit.
Finding unexpected treasures, like Ronda, is what makes a baby boomer journey unforgettable.
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