Bulls, Horses, Vino and Jamon
The first morning I woke up in my amazing suite in Hotel Catalonia de Ronda, I started off with an immersive tour around the mesmerising city of Ronda.
Together with Miguel, Meme and Sandra of Ronda Tourism, we went to the impressive Plaza de Toros dating from 1785. This elegant, neo-classical structure is Spain’s oldest Plaza de Toros: it was designed by Martín de Aldehuela, the celebrated architect also behind Ronda’s stunning New Bridge, Puente Nuevo, which was our next destination.
This incredible bridge is the largest of three bridges that span the 120-metre-deep chasm that carries the Guadalevín River and divides the city of Ronda. It is truly a breathtaking sight.
Did you know that the bridge was finally completed in 1793 after forty years of construction? The scary yet beautiful Puente Nuevo must definitively be Ronda’s most famous attraction!
For someone that suffers from vertigos like me, walking on a bridge was never on my bucket list however, as soon as I got there, the views of the hills and the scenery were so gorgeous that I quickly forgot my vertigos!
Another piece of history that we visited was the Convento de Santo Domingo which was built after the fall of Ronda in 1845, we will definitely be including this in the programme and fill it with Andalucian experiences such as Andalucian dance, castanuelas (castanets) and cooking classes.
I am ways wanted to know how to cook this tasty local bread and I cannot wait to be learning the secret recipe in October at the event.
We then went in search of a bit of shade, and we found it in no other place than the Bodega Doña Felisa! The bodega has been a family business dedicated to the world of wine since 1999. Gema Alonso, the owner, took us around the winery and explained her philosophy about wine. Her philosophy is that taking care of every detail and the environment itself, allows them to offer a variety of captivating, elegant and quality wines.
We tasted four different wines, one more divine than the other and she paired them with homemade boquerones. Ever since Roman times, the rugged scenery around Ronda has been used for wine-making. This part of Andalusia is called the Serrania de Ronda and is particularly known for its delicious reds, although the region also produces whites and rosés.
One of my main highlights of the day was having a private tour of Reservatauro a breeding farm of bulls and pure Andalusian horses, located in a space which is declared a biosphere’s reserve by UNESCO.
At this beautiful cattle ranch, we had a private introduction to the way of life of the Spanish countryside and the breeding of Spanish bullfighting bulls and Andalusian horses. Rosio shared with us the life of these fantastic animals throughout all their breeding stages and their fascinating selection process in addition to being able to interact with them.
The homemade cooked lunch by the staff there was simply divine! Moreover, who would have thought that we’d end up eating amongst bulls and Andalucian horses… a very immersive experience indeed. The horses were free-roaming and incredibly soft.
Finally, to end the adventure-filled day, dinner was at the spectacular Tragata restaurant which specialises in dishes that have traditional flavours with a creative touch that make up the most innovative tapas. Food is one of the best ways to truly experience the authenticity of a country.
I certainly cannot wait to experience every bit of this beautiful city in October. I will update you more in the next week or so.
Ciao for now,