Thursday, 13 September 2012

Marbella and Ronda

Last week we took the family to Marbella and Ronda, Andalicia, Spain. We decided that the boys hadn't had a decent holiday for some years and we ought to make use of our pre-paid accommodation at Playa Real in Marbesa.

On the first day, we did our usual thing of going to the local (Marbella) Market. It only had the usual things - jewellery, bags, shoes and dresses, etc. but the fruit and vegatables were beautiful.

Here are the family at Marbella Market. L to R: Helen, Toby, Marea, Emilie and Ben

One of the main things we wanted to do was drive up into the hills to Ronda. 

This is Ronda. This is the picture you can't take from the town itself but, as you can see, it sits on the edge of a cliff and you drive in across the bridge that spans the chasm.

Ronda is a bullfighting town. It has the oldest bullring in Spain and celebrates its matadors, particularly Pedro Romero, said to have created the 'art form' type of bullfighting. Coincidentally, we arrived in the middle of the Pedro Romero Festival, the the ‘Feria Goyesca de Pedro Romero’ which takes place in September every year. The main attraction of this fiesta is the bullfight which takes place on the first Saturday of the month in the Real Maestranza bullring. Before the bullfight there is a procession of horse drawn carriages through the streets of Ronda with everyone dressed in 18th century Goyesque costumes. The matadors themselves also wear this traditional attire.

Pedro Romero was mentioned by Ernest Hemingway in 'The Sun Also Rises'. I'm afraid I'm not a fan of Hemingway or bullfighting.

The Statues outside the bullring are of Antonio Ordonez and Gaetano Ordonez and it's the Ordonez family that organises the annual feria.

The main shopping street, Calle Pedro Romero, is decorated and, a little later on, crowded with people in the tapas bars and shops, dressed in 'Goyesque' costumes, eating and drinking and having a good time

The family in Calle Pedro Romero

From little girls to matrons - Goyesque

And this is the bridge across the chasm

And the wonderful surrounding countryside

Goyesque costumes come short as well as long

...but always elegant

Marea outside the bullring

Needless to say, we didn't stay for the bullfights on Saturday and Sunday.

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