Ronda GBU

May. 1st, 2011 09:48 pm
cat_cetera: (Don't Panic)
Exceeded Expectations
- the town as a whole - beautiful views out over the landscape below the town, and pretty unique geography with the town sitting literally right on top of the gorge

Afraid of Heights?

- just when I thought I had seen everything Ronda had to offer (it is pretty small) we discovered a craft fair with local artisans showing their wares or offering demonstrations of how they made their products (like the geometric patterned tiles), where I got a CD by a local baroque/flamenco trio and an incense burner made of local tiles.

Good
- nice if rainy walk around the old town to see the gorge and the bridges from various angles
- great meals with fantastic views over the gorge and the landscape below

Bad
- rainy
- left my new water bottle behind on the bus

Ugly
- was not able to escape the hype of the royal wedding

Interesting
- the church of Santa Maria Mayor was not just ABC - it had some modern frescoes (painted in 1983) and a modern bronze choir screen along with the usual gold-encrusted baroque altarpieces; there was also an unusually high concentration of the life-sized Marys, many shown with a crescent moon (a symbol of many pagan goddesses like Isis, Artemis etc.)

The Cult of Mary

- the duelling museum at the Plaza de Toros had an exhibit showing a duel between two ladies over the love of a certain captain
- at dinner on the last night, I had a chair with my back to the gorge. As I was eating, I felt a thing like someone putting their hand on my shoulder - there was no-one there, but I looked around just in time to see a huge flock of crows wheeling around below us in the gorge.

Amusing
- one of the exhibits at the local trade fair was a sort of promotion of Andalucian/North African cross-cultural connections. There were a whole bunch of musical instruments, including a sort of drum with a stick in it that you played by wetting your hand and then rubbing it rapidly up and down the stick (hur hur). After I played that, I saw there was also a doumbek which the lady encouraged me to play. I sat down with it, listened to the music a bit, and started to drum along (no, not the Standard Avacal Rhythm) and the next thing I knew, the lady from the exhibit was playing some other drum, a little girl was playing the castanets, and we had attracted a crowd of picture-taking tourists, who will no doubt go home and show all their friends their pictures of local musicians from Ronda.

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