The Rain in Spain (more specifically, in Ronda)…

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The second weekend of my parents visit, we had planned a few days in Ronda and Seville.  Unfortunately, March’s rainy weather continued, but since we had already made our reservations, we went on our trip anyway.  And wow, did we run into trouble from the rain!  But more on that later in this post…

The boys had a random Monday off school (for Día del Padre – a more religious version of father’s day, since the “father” they are celebrating is actually Joseph (San Jose), the father of Jesus), so we took advantage of this day to maximize our time this weekend.

We picked the boys up from school and drove just over 2 hours to Ronda, a mountaintop city set above a deep gorge. It is a very popular town, seen many times in photos of its bridge spanning the gorge.

IMG_0197It really was pretty incredible. My dad, C and I took advantage of a break in the rain after we arrived on Friday night to explore the town a bit.  We didn’t get far, and really focused mainly on finding food, but managed to get to the edge of town to see the big drop off into the gorge, as well as the big bullfighting ring.IMG_0157

IMG_0163The next morning the rain was pretty constant, but C and I took advantage of a short break (and babysitting grandparents 🙂 ) to find the famous Puento Nuevo bridge.  We walked just a little bit past the main strip of shops and approached the bridge. IMG_0171We walked over the bridge and looked over the side on both sides. Both offered amazing views.

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View down from one side of the bridge
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View down from the other side of the bridge

I had seen a path leading down into the valley, and I wanted to find it so we could see the bridge from below.  We followed a tour group into the old town, then veered off onto a road that appeared to lead to the path.

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following a random tour group down a rainy street in the Old Town of Ronda

We got lucky and found the path at the end of the street and headed down. It was a pretty steep climb down (you know what that means – a steep climb back up!), and it was already starting to sprinkle again, so we knew we didn’t have much time.

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the view of the path and the valley below Ronda

We walked down the path a bit and found a great viewpoint to see the bridge.  We also ran into a young couple, and we exchanged picture-taking with them.IMG_0208

Ronda was beautiful and we would have loved to explore more, but alas, the rain started again, and continued to pour down for the rest of the day, so we spent most of it at our (luckily, roomy) Airbnb.  We did get the whole family to brave the weather one time for dinner.  Dashing through the rain with our heads down and hoods on, we managed to stumble into a restaurant called La Giralda, and we all really enjoyed it. Worth the wet walk!

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His face shows how much he enjoyed the ribs he ordered. Though he would be very embarrassed if he saw this picture of himself on the blog (when did he get old enough for that!?)
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If you ever wondered what would happen if you ate olive-oil covered pasta with your fingers and then ran your fingers through your hair….

The next morning, it was still a bit wet, but it was time to head to our next destination, Seville.

If we had left from (our Spanish) home, we would have taken major roads to get to Seville.  However, Ronda was located in a more isolated and hilly area, and thus, the route to Seville was via small, winding country roads.  Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but after a lot of rain, something Spain isn’t used to, these small roads were in rough shape.  We saw a few rock slides as we started out from Ronda, but it only got worse when the road we were on suddenly closed, due to a big mudslide ahead.

Google maps wasn’t terribly helpful, and we ended up first trying to drive down a narrow dirt (and a little bit of gravel) road hugging a cliff edge.  It was a white knuckle ride for my mom, for sure!

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the “road”, what isn’t clear is the fact that this is actually straight uphill
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view off the cliff from the road

After a while, we gave up on that road, and turned back, eventually finding a new route. We were happy to be on a paved road, but this road climbed up, up again and we ended completely fogged in.  We couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of us, a problem for poor C, as he navigated the winding roads and random rocks that had fallen onto the road during the storm.  It was also unfortunate for those of us who tend to get carsick (hands up!) as the warm car, windy road and zero visibility was a recipe for nausea!  At this point, we were actually in the Parque Natural de la Sierra de Grazalema (spoiler: sierra = mountain :/), and I thought it was hilarious that we would go past signs with a camera, indicating a beautiful viewpoint over the valley below, but we literally couldn’t see 5 feet in front of us!

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I was too stressed (and trying not to throw up) to take actual pictures at this point, so this picture is just off the internet – I’ve included it to help paint the picture

Four hours later, we completed the typically 1 hour 45 minute drive to Seville.  (of course, once we got to Seville we ran into more issues with a closed road on the seemingly single road to our hotel in the middle of the city, which was eventually solved by driving down another one way road in reverse – but that is a story for another blog post 🙂 ) I will leave you with one last picture, taken from the Alcazar (royal palace) of Seville – proof we made it!

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