After we left Setenil, we drove about 40 minutes to the town of Ronda. Ronda is the largest of the "white towns" (pueblos blancos) in this region with a population of about 35,000. We entered Ronda from the north and parked Opal. Then we began to walk south in what we felt was the direction of "the gorge". Along the way we passed the "Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Ronda" - the 1700s bullring which was used by Phillip II as war training for knights. Ronda is considered the birthplace of modern bullfighting. We walked on and found the Tourist Information center where we obtained a map. Just around the corner was a walkway that took us to the gorge.
There is a huge ravine called El Tajo - 360 feet deep and 200 feet wide - which separates the old Moorish town - La Ciudad - from the new town - El Mercadillo. The new town was built after the Christian reconquest in 1485. The New Bridge (Puente Nuevo) spans the gorge. A different bridge was built in 1735, but it fell 6 years later. The Puente Nuevo was built between 1751 and 1793. We looked down towards the bottom of the gorge - amazing views abound! We slowly walked across the narrow bridge, and saw clusters of locks on the iron fence - locks of love. We crossed over into the old town and went into a couple of stores - one just happened to have ice cream :). We didn't venture too far down into the old Moorish city as we had a fairly long drive back to the resort. So we headed back to Opal and saw many more gorgeous views along the way. Enjoy the pictures of Ronda and the surrounding mountainside.
As we approached the coast, Steve was kind enough to pull off the road so I could take a few pictures - in one of them, you can see the Rock of Gibraltar in the distance!