Got up caught a train to Ronda. First time using our Euro Rail passes on this trip! 🙂 We had to take the train from Sevilla to a town called Bobadilla. first, and then from there to Ronda. (The train system in Spain, particularly in the South, isn’t very efficient. You need to hop multiple trains to get to where you want to go). AND….the trains are not very timely. We were late for our second train to Ronda. But this guy at the train station called a taxi, and said that we got to get a taxi ride to Ronda for free! How awesome is that!
Pulled into Ronda (it was raining) and checked into our hotel. By the time we got out to start walking around, the sun was starting to come out. Went to eat a pretty awesome 3 course meal for lunch. (I tried gazpacho for the first time. It’s a cold Spanish soup made with mashed up tomatoes, and some onions and peppers. SO flavorful). After lunch, I showed my parents the gorge, the bridges, and the Arab baths. They were pretty impressed, and really enjoyed the views. We all agree that Ronda kind of reminds us of New Zealand. It’s very green, has lots of creeks, and sheep! (Looks very much like “The Shire.”) We enjoyed exploring the little windy streets.
After our daily capuccinos/croissants/whatever at a café, we went to catch the train to Algeciras, where we would then catch a bus to La Linea, where we would catch a bus to Gibralter. UF! 🙂 Very nice train ride to Algeciras (Algeciras is the place where I caught the ferry to/from Morocco). Lots of rolling green hills, and STORKS sitting on top of their nests. (No babies in their mouths though. Kinda disappointing. Haha).
After finally arriving in Gibralter, we took a walk to the Cable Car that would take us up to the top of the giant rock. Ok, a little history here, for those who may not know. Gibralter is connected to Spain, but is technically British territory. The Brits won this small speck of land at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession. (Spaniards are still fairly bitter towards Gibralter, as they still believe that the rock should be theirs, even though they have not tried to do much about re-conquering it from the Brits for many many years.) About 30,000 people (a mixture of Brits, Spaniards, and Moroccans) live in Gibralter. (It even has it’s own airport/runway, which runs over the main highway. About 4 times a day, the highway has to be closed down for a bit, to let planes come through). The majority of Gibralter is basically a GIANT rock that you can go to the top of, and get great views of the Strait of Gibralter and the Mediterranean. You are also able to see both Spain and Morocco in the distance. It’s pretty neat.
Besides great views at the top of the rock, there are also MONKEYS! (Or more specifically Barbary Apes). About 200 of them live on the rock. All tourists are told that they are wild animals, and that we shouldn’t approach them or feed them. Well, that certainly wasn’t a problem. They loved approaching people. And stealing things. We got lots of good pictures with them. When we were up on the rock, my mom was opening up a bag of chips to eat outside. (She didn’t see the harm in it at all). Then all of the sudden, a giant monkey comes out of nowhere, grabs her leg, and rips the chips out of her hand. (Can’t fight with a wild monkey). Whoops. Unfortunatly, I was in the cafe at the time, so I didn’t get to see it. Just the aftermath….the monkey eating the last of the chips, and the ripped up bag just laying there on the ground. He seemed pretty content. 🙂 We got a kick out of THAT one.
After exploring on the rock, came down and had some lunch at a pub. Had the best tinto de verano ever! AND a cheeseburger. That was AWESOME! Got back to Ronda by about 9 pm. Dad and I went out for some tapas. Now, off to bed. Granada tomorrow for 4 nights! YAY!