It was early afternoon when I arrived in Ronda and then it was ten minutes of walking to reach the place I was staying at. I had completely forgotten that there weren’t any hostels I could find nearby Ronda’s old city, so I was staying in a B&B, and when I opened the door to my room it felt really weird to see that I was in a private room. At the same time, I was only going to be there a single night, so I would be back to the usual hostel dormitories soon enough. I had come to Ronda because I wanted to do a brief stop in one of Spain’s famous whitewashed hill towns and Ronda was the easiest to reach by public transportation. I knew from my research beforehand that there wasn’t too much to see or do in Ronda, hence why I was only staying a single night. After unpacking I got a quick meal and then went over to Ronda’s famous main bridge. The hill Ronda is built on has steep bluffs, and the oldest part of the city is separated from the newer parts by a gorge that’s about 200ft wide and 360ft deep. The main bridge over the gorge has a pair of massive support columns that go all the way down to the bottom of the gorge. It’s also called the Ponte Nuevo because it’s the newest of the bridges crossing the gorge, though it’s still a few hundred years old, having been finished in the late 1700s. When examining the bridge, the engineer inside me was wondering why the bridge wasn’t built as a single-span arch bridge, but I guess that would have been really hard to do back then. In Ronda’s old city I spent awhile looking around, though there’s not too much to see. Afterwards I took a trail that lead down the cliffs and for the next three or so hours I was hiking around and under the bridge. The farther down I went, the fewer tourists there were. Eventually I was far enough down that all the people I saw there had arrived by car via the road at the bottom of the gorge. When I got far enough away from the bridge that I could only see part of it, I turned back and started the climb back to the top. Along the way I took a cutoff trail that I saw a few mountain climbers taking. It was steep but saved me twenty minutes of hiking along the main path. I took a rest at a vantage point and waited for sunset. Unfortunately the sunset light that day wasn’t as dramatic as I was hoping it would be (I was hoping it would give the bridge a reddish tone that would make for a good photo, but no luck). With the light dimming I marched the rest of the way back up to the town. I bought dinner from a grocery store in town and later in the night came back to the bridge and the old city to do a night walk. There were lots of people out walking the streets, including kids in Halloween costumes. It was October 30, so Halloween wasn’t actually until tomorrow, but I doubt the kids cared.

The next morning I was in for a pleasant surprise regarding breakfast. The B&B’s breakfast was being served at the cafe down the street. When I got there I found out that they served churros con chocolate and ordered some. I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary, but these turned out to be the best churros con chocolate that I had on the entire Europe trip. After breakfast I packed my backpack and left it at the front desk while I went out to see a bit more of Ronda before departure. I checked out the smaller, older bridges that span a lower, narrower part of the gorge and also visited a church in the old city. When time ran out I returned to the B&B, got my backpack, and walked to the train station to catch my 1:40pm train to Cordoba.

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