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An Excursion to Southern Spain's White Hill Towns: Ronda

Ronda is one of the “white hill towns” in southern Spain, situated about two hours from Granada. I have to say that before this Saturday excursion, I wasn’t expecting much from Ronda. I just thought that it was going to be a quaint town. I thought the sites in Ronda could never be as magnificent as Cordoba’s mesquita or as beautiful as Sevilla’s cathedral. Well, Ronda definitely surpassed my expectations.  
Arab Baths

To say Ronda is magnificent would be an understatement. It truly looks like something out of a postcard. When we first arrived in Ronda, we saw the famous gorge from the top. At this moment, some people in my CEA group tried to get the best pictures of the gorge by looking down from the overlook. I really thought that some people from my CEA group were going to drop their cameras or worse, lean a bit too far and fall. Rest assured, nothing like this happened.

Then, after the gorge, we made our way to the Arab baths. In my opinion, they are such a well preserved piece of Arab history. The columns, arches, and bath structures looked like they were out of a textbook picture. At the Arab baths, they also provided us with a video about the history of the baths. It was interesting to find out that we were sitting in one of the rooms that was a part of the Arab baths while watching a video about it. 


Throughout the day, I also had the opportunity to see some of the costumes of Carnival. I learned that Carnival is important in Ronda, and it's not just a day for adults and teenagers. In Ronda, the children were dressed up in costumes, just like the adults. It reminded me of Halloween, especially because some of the children were carrying around bags of candy. The costumes I saw the most that day were  princesses, and superheroes. I was surprised to see some of the girls dressed up as Elsa from Frozen; I didn't think that a costume existed for such a new movie. The cutest moment to me though was seeing the parents who wore matching costumes with their children. I saw pairs of Minnie Mouse, families of Angry Birds, as well as superheroes. The adults without children dressed up as well, and had some very interesting costume choices. I saw the "Beatles of Ronda," as well as 70's characters. 


 Rolling Hills of Ronda
After the baths, we ended up taking a walk through Ronda, when I was truly able to appreciate its beauty. From the Don Basco house, the view was breathtaking. I stopped when I first saw it, and exclaimed, “oh my gosh.” It looked like it was out of a postcard of Ireland, with its rolling hills and pastures. I really couldn’t believe that I was only two hours away from Granada. The views of Ronda made me feel like I was in an entirely different world, kind of like in a fairytale to be honest. To top that amazing view, my friends and I decided to take a walk, or hike (depending on your perspective) from the top view of the gorge all the way to the bottom.  While it was pretty steep and exhausting at some points, I’m so happy that I made it all the way down. The views during the walk down just kept getting more picturesque. I have some great photos of myself, and with my friends. Through these photos, you can see all that Ronda has to offer. The gorge, plus the mountains, and the rolling hills all could be captured in one walk.
 The gorge after the "hike"

Although Ronda wasn’t at the top of list of cities to visit in Spain, I’m so grateful that I went along on this CEA excursion. It definitely provided me with some "oh my gosh" moments, as well as great pictures to capture details that really only a picture can explain.

Mia Polizzotto is the CEA Spring 2014 MOJO in Granada, Spain. She is currently a junior at York College of Pennsylvania.

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