We moved to Ronda and are staying at a parador that has a Michelin star chef (more about that later.) Ronda is a city in the Spanish province of Malaga. It was first settled by the early Celts, who called it Arunda in the sixth century BC. Ronda was heavily affected by the Spanish Civil War, after which much of the population emigrated elsewhere. The famous scene in chapter 10 of Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, describing the 1936 execution of Fascist sympathisers in a (fictional) village who are thrown off a cliff, is considered to be modeled on actual events at the time in Ronda.
The 1st picture shows our parador. Don and Leslie had 29 minutes before our walking tour and did a quick hike down (and back up) to get this picture. Our guide took us to a small shop near the hotel where we got free ham and cheese samples. The 2nd picture shows the Iberian hams that are all over the place. They are quite popular here.
Ronda has beautiful views everywhere you look. We visited the Church of Santa María la Mayor (pictures 6 – 9) which was originally built as a Muslim mosque and later turned into a Catholic Church (we think we see a theme here as every town we have been in has a mosque that was turned into a church). We also visited Casa de San Juan Bosco (pictures 10 – 13). Saint John Bosco was an Italian Roman Catholic priest, educator and writer of the 19th century. While working in Turin, where the population suffered many of the effects of industrialization and urbanization, he dedicated his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth. He developed teaching methods based on love rather than punishment. A wealthy Granda family donated the building in Ronda to the Salesian Priest Order (which Juan Bosco founded) as a nursing home for ill and aging priests. Don went to the Plaza de Toros de Ronda (next two pictures) while the rest of us took a walk around the park.
Bill found a wonderful place for lunch called Tropicana. We had to walk about a mile to get there and we walked out of the tourist area into the part of the city where people live, so we knew it was going to be a good restaurant. The next two pictures are from there (octopus arm, sardines and quail). The food was delicious and elegantly presented. The last four pictures show the food in the parador from the 1 star Michelin chef. The first picture is of an appetizer – a salad wrapped in melon which Linda declared the best salad she ever had. We continue to be spoiled by the food here.