Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day Out to Ronda

I had wanted the report on our day out to Ronda to include some of the photos I took but technology doesn't always do what you want it to. They look great on the view screen on the camera but won't transfer to the computer. I guess I will have to learn how to set photos in this text if Fujifilm ever get round to replying to my e mails asking about yet another repair.
We were lucky with the weather which is a good start. The forecast had made us a bit fearful but it started well and stayed really good all day. The coach took us via an unexpected visit to La Cala de Mijas and then back through Churriana to Ardales where we stopped for coffee and a local bread with olive oil or the more English butter and jam. Ardales is a fairly typical 'white town' but the building development seen all around here is increasing its size all the time. Where the old town has a jumble appearance the new edge has the serried ranks of terrace housing . At least it is white and more or less the same size and scale as the older parts of town. We didn't go in which was just as well. Having done it previously in my small car the tiny streets are a nightmare.
Next stop was Ronda and we had a couple of hours there before lunch. It's a bit pointless commenting on the town as it is so well known and documented. The sun was out and visibility excellent so we had great views over the countryside. The local wildlife put on a good show for us with birds of prey (so I don't know whether it was a hawk or an eagle or a falcon!) circling round and disappearing back into the cliff. There wasn't enough time to do anything except wander through the town before it was back to the coach and on to lunch. The setting of the restaurant was excellent. The gardens were a little Autumnal but quite attractive and to the delight of many the trees were full of mistletoe. A little rehearsal for Christmas was considered necessary. Lunch itself was frankly a disappointment. Any further visit to Ronda will plan on having lunch in the town. There were some really nice looking restaurants in and around the town square which had a good menu del dia at moderate cost.
Then we were ready for the high spot of the day. The train is an ordinary service from Cordoba to Algeciras so nothing special there. What was very special indeed was the scenery en route. I was late on the train so finished up with my back to the engine sitting on the right hand side. Turned out to be perfect. As the train went through the mountains I could look up the valleys. By this time of the year most of Andalucia is brown even after the September rain. The valleys had their tints of brown and gold but were still mainly green except where the rock showed through which it did often. Lots of patches of cultivation and small villages or even just a Cortijo. It may not have lasted long (about one and a half hours) but I can quite see how it was included in some lists of great railway journeys of the world.
Finally on to Algeciras and home.
It would be nice to have posted some pictures. Even if I have to write to Japan I am going to get some here!

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