Sunday, June 12, 2011

Ronda... should we yell out the window??

Hello all! Sorry I’ve gone so long without an update! Since I’ve been in Salamanca, there really has been no excuse, I have plenty of free time!

We’ll start with Ronda (the abridged version):

It was a blast! We got there Saturday (after almost missing the bus in Arcos. Good thing Spanairds are never on time). We lugged all of our stuff to our little Hostel, which happened to be in the center of the old town (nice). We actually ended up on the wrong street, which was tiny and packed with cafes which were all super busy and had to stop towards the side with all of our stuff and pull out our map and be total tourists. It was great. 

After the detour, we finally made it to the hostel/hotel, check in and go exploring. We were starving so we went to the nearest super market to get some food. We were running pretty low on funds, so we decided to spend less than 40 euro between the two of us on food. So, we ended up eating watermelon and cheese for lunch both days. Talk about good nutrition, haha.

After eating, we just went exploring around the town. Santi, the receptionist at our hotel in Arcos gave us plenty of cool things to go see, and we were pretty busy all day. We went to the bull ring, went hiking up and down the cliff and just walked around the old part of the city. Ronda is an absolutely gorgeous town, and it has this bridge that connects the town over the river, called the Puente Nueva. It was incredible. Down the river (we went there the next day), there is the Puente Vieja, which is much smaller. When standing on the Puente Nueva, you get a perfect view of the Viajeros Romanticos, (Romantic Travelers). The Viajeros Romanticos is a series of mountains and terrain that is INCREDIBLE. Back in the day (1600, 1700s), young people used to travel from all over to come and relax and enjoy the view. It inspired tons of poetry and literature, and it was very easy to see why. 

When we hiked back up the mountain, we were exhausted, so we went back to the hotel for a bit, got locked in (details in the next paragraph), then managed to unlock the door and then went out and got some incredible pizza that night. Ronda reminded me so much of Soria in the since that all the family and friends go out together at night (very typical all over Spain), but that the kids are just able to run around and play while the parents are eating dinner. It’s a pretty neat culture. Every so often the parents or family friends go over and play and run around with the kids, and it’s really cute. Hearing children speak in Spanish like it’s no big deal is one of the coolest things to me. Good thing I plan on having bilingual children.  ;)

On Sunday, we woke up, ready to get café con leche at the Parador (we were trying to make this a theme for the trip), and went to open the door. At the hostel/hotel we were staying at, to lock the door, you had to lock it from the inside. So, when we went to bed at night, we had to put the key in the door and turn it so that the bolt would lock (it was pretty old school). We had gotten locked in the day before, so we were a little frustrated, but we had managed to get it to open, so we thought that after a few minutes, we could open it again. However, after about ten minutes of both Kal and I trying with our hardest efforts, we STILL couldn’t get it open. Yes, we were locked IN the room (when does that ever happen?). We had no idea what to do and the phone in the room didn’t work, so we just started banging on the door like idiots saying Hola, hola, hay alguien?? Loudly. Luckily, after about 7 minutes of this, the cleaning lady came by, and I had to explain to her that the lock was broken and we couldn’t open the door. Definitely learned some new vocabulary with that! She went down and got the owner who came up and opened the door and was very apologetic. It ended up being the key that was broken and he gave us the master key for the room. Oh boy.

Once we got free, we did some more site seeing, saw the Arab Bathes, climbed down the bottom of an old military “mina”, had some lunch (yay watermelon!), went back to the hostel and skyped with family, then went back out to walk around the old city. At this point in the trip, we completely exhausted from all of the traveling and were ready to just be in Salamanca and be able to fully unpack and have a “home base”. We spent a lot of the afternoon/evening just hanging out at the hostel and skyping. We did go back out later that night to explore a little more, but went back early for bed. That night, we were afraid of getting locked in again, so we didn’t lock the door. So, we ghetto-rigged it with what we could find in the room. Hilarious.

On Sunday, we got up early and caught the train to Salamanca! 

Overall, Ronda was great. It was really enjoyable and I am glad that we had the opportunity to go. If you are looking for another small town experience (albeit, there are way more tourists than in Arcos), I would highly recommend it!

Kal at the bottom of the Mina. It came out to the river!

This was our own personal way to lock the door...

The Ronda Bullring

View from the Parador, gorgeous, isn't it?

La Puente Nueva

La puente nueva

Digging in to our lunch! We did look homeless here...

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