Copyright© 2009 All images and text in all categories are copyright of Mary A. Ritter (aka M'Unique) and may not be reproduced without express permission. · Spain

Ronda Views

 

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Photo by Norm Ritter We awoke to a beautiful purple sunrise.
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Photo by Norm Ritter

Thursday, March 26: This day we set forth to travel via Renfe, Spain’s train system, to Ronda, one of Andulucia’s White Hill Towns (los puebloes cerro blanco). We walked a quarter mile to the metro and rode into Malaga, about a 25 minute ride, where we caught the train to Ronda. It was a beautifully scenic ride. Highlights were groves of orange trees, lemon trees, and olive trees, along with river gorge hikers and rock climbers, fields of wind turbines and an array of solar panels. It made for a stunning mixture of old with new. We passed grain storage facilities and a cement plant while listening to the announcement for each village as the train slowed to a short stop, first in Spanish and then in English, always preceded by the destination: Rrrrrronda! Next Stop – Proxima parada … One of the following villages- Cartama, Pizarra, ‘Alora, Las Mellizas, El Chorro, Bobadillo, Capillos, Almargen-Cañete, La Real, Rrrrronda! At Bobadillo, not being able to make the hairpin turn to Ronda, the engineer put it in reverse towards Ronda. Luckily, there were empty seats facing in the now forward direction, so we could be comfortable, as needed.

Loaded with oranges. We see them where we wlk to Torrmolinos and Malaga also, along with lemons and mandarin oranges. The blossoms smell so sweet.
Loaded with oranges. We see them where we walk in Torremolinos and Malaga also, along with lemons and mandarin oranges. The blossoms smell so sweet.

Upon arrival, we made our way to the overview of the Gaudalevin River Gorge along which Ronda nestles. We walked along the gorge pathway to see the magnificent views while listening to the music of a harpist who had situated herself in a lovely gazebo.

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The gazebo with the harpist…. notice the extended ledge to the left with people standing on it.

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Taken with my iPod

The ravine, called El Tajo, is 360 feet deep and 220 feet wide. The 18th century bridge pictured, the New Bridge (Puente Nuevo) built from 1751-1791, replaces the Old Bridge (Puente Viejo), which was built in 1735 and fell down after only six years. It is a wonder to see.

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Taken from my iPod -El Tajo Ravine with pueblos blancos.

Ronda’s history includes eras of rule by the Romans (mythology), the Moors (Islam, Moslems), and Christans (Catholocism). The New Bridge separates the old Moorish town and architecture from the new town development. The picture above shows the new town.

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Photo by Norm Ritter – the sundecks of Don Miguel Hotel, Ronda, España

From the bridge we looked down into the multi-tiered sundecks of the Don Miguel restaurant and hotel. It seemed like the perfect place for a light lunch and a glass of wine.

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Photo by Ingrid Molde:  seated at the Don Miguel Sundeck restaurant overlooking El Tajo Gorge, Ronda, España.

The other point of interest that we had time to visit was The Plaza de Toros bull ring. Here both Ernest Hemmingway and Orson Welles spent many months over several years.

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Photo by Norm Ritter -El Torro
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Photo by Norm Ritter -The  Matador

Bullfighting was developed by King Phillip ll to train the knights in the 16th century. Francisco (the father) and Juan (the son) Romero developed the bullfight into the cultural event seen in modern Spain today. Pedro Romero (the grandson) was one of Spain’s greatest matadors, killing nearly 6000 bulls during his career.

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Panoramic photo by Norm Ritter – the most significant bull ring in Spain – “(Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda)” Excerpt From: Steves, Rick. “Rick Steves Spain 2015.” Avalon Travel, 2014. iBooks.

After some beverages, we headed back to the train to reverse our morning ride. Prior to leaving in the morning, we waited for the train in the Orient Express Cafe. Ingrid and I enjoyed translating the poem (below) which was stenciled on their wall. Enjoy!

 Nuestra receta para ser feliz
Our recipe for happiness
2kg de abrazos
2kg of hugs
3kg de besos
3kg of kisses
4kg de paciencia
4kg of patience
1 pizca de locura
1 pinch of madness
Siete cucharadas soperas de mimos
Seven tablespoons of pampering
Agitar todo con mucho amor
Shake it all with much love
Y servir todos los dias
And serve everyday.
¡Buen viajes!!!!
Good Travels!!!!

if you are on Face book, you might want to check for Norm Ritter’s and Ingrid Molde’s pages where you will find more frequent photos with comments from them.

Copyright© 2009 All images and text in all categories are copyright of Mary A. Ritter (aka M'Unique) and may not be reproduced without express permission. · Spain

“Why does the banana tree keep its leaves?”…

… you might ask. The picture below should answer that question. No? Well, perhaps I should have entitled this blog, “Find Mary!”

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Zeus and Europa Torremolinos, España March 25, 2015

 

It seems that Zeus saw the Goddess Europa and instantly was smitten. In order to attract her attention, he turned himself into a great white bull. When she alighted on his back, he stole her away and seduced her under a banana tree. (Sorry! I should have forwarned you of adult content, but they do have this statue and plaque with the story right there in one of the main plazas.) Anyway, it seems this is forever an honor for the humble banana tree. So as a result, it never loses its leaves! Did you “Find Mary”? More serious content to follow…. Or maybe not. We still have 23 days remaining in our condo here in Andulucia so I am bound to find many more stories to tell.

For the first time, it is balmy enough to open some of the glass panels, creating a wonderful outdoor living room.

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Castillo de Santa Clara March 25, 2015

 

 

Copyright© 2009 All images and text in all categories are copyright of Mary A. Ritter (aka M'Unique) and may not be reproduced without express permission. · Spain

Life in the castle….

My husband, Norm, took this photo out the window wall from our condo in Castillo de Santa Clara. The entire outer wall is a series of glass panels that can be slid open. So far the temperatures have been to cool to have the windows open, but we are hopeful for warmer temps this week. Now I'm going to show you llife inside the walls of the castle! Get ready!
My husband, Norm, took this photo out the window wall from our condo in Castillo de Santa Clara. The entire outer wall is a series of glass panels that can be slid open. So far the temperatures have been too cool to have the windows open, but we are hopeful for warmer temps this week. The walkway below is called the Paseo Maritimo. We walk on it whenever we go out to find tapas or a bigger meal later in the day. Now I’m going to show you life inside the walls of the castle! Get ready!
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Here in “Castillo de Santa Clara”, the name of our condo complex here in Torremolinos, Spain, I am standing at the outer window wall with Norm waving hello from Bedroom #1. Your eyes do not deceive you. The bedrooms also have full window walls with a structural shared wall between them-no draperies. Don’t they know we are quiet, private midwesterners? Luckily, there are en suite bathrooms attached to each bedroom so we do have private dressing areas. Good thing we have been friends for more than 48 years (and the guys for more than 60 years). Sorry to leave Ingrid in the shadowy foreground, but such are my camera skills!
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Bedroom #2 hides the kitchen behind its rear wall. It really isn’t messy, but has our “dryer” sitting by its glass wall. Ingrid and I were both so happy when we learned our condo would have a “dryer”as that is unusual in Europe. Well, here you have it… Our Dryer. It actually is quite sufficient. In better weather, we can sit it out on the patio… Just like tapping the timer for quicker drying!
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Here you see the small dining area, quite sufficient for our needs. The oranges we picked up in the nearby fresh market are sweeter than you can even imagine. I must admit we had delicious oranges at home in Cary, NC and in Naples, Florida, earlier this year. Life is good!
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Just another view of the living area and the outside view. We are only on the third floor, but the Castillo in on a cliff  above the city.

 

And here is our small, but well equipped kitchen. This tiny area has a refrigerator, combination microwave/ove, dishwasher and washing machine. Ingrid, Al and I trekked our way to the Super Sol Mercado and bought a load of groceries which we carried home... Not terribly far. But definitely good exercise. But perhaps the details can be left to another day, and another blog! Such is life for the royalty inside the castillo walls!
And here is our small, but well equipped kitchen. This tiny area has a refrigerator, combination microwave/oven, dishwasher and washing machine. Ingrid, Al and I trekked our way to the Super Sol Mercado and bought a load of groceries which we carried home… Not terribly far. But definitely good exercise. The details can be left to another day, and another blog! Such is life for the royalty inside the  “Castillo” walls!
Copyright© 2009 All images and text in all categories are copyright of Mary A. Ritter (aka M'Unique) and may not be reproduced without express permission.

First Day Challenges in Madrid … Transport, Money, Sleep, Food!

The first day in a new country always presents interesting challenges. We were pleased that we connected uneventfully at the Newark airport with our travel companions, Al and Ingrid. The flight pushed back from the gate on time, flew quietly over the Atlantic with most of its patrons sleeping peacefully. After a taxi ride and a short rest, we ventured forth to get a noon meal. All of Spain takes a siesta from 2-5Pm, with the big meal eaten prior. The exchange rate is about even, so figuring the cost isn’t too difficult. The biggest challenge is figuring out the menu! Here are some examples from the Tapas Bar where we ate a small lunch.

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If you sit at the bar you order from this menu, or just point at the already prepared plate that you prefer. Pointing sure takes the hassle out of trying to translate when you are hungry. BTW, the first one on the list is scrambled eggs with potatoes and Spanish ham. Not exotic at all!
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If you order from this menu, you must sit at a table in the cafe. $$$

 

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On our way back for our much needed siestas, we wandered through a market place (mercado). We are all looking forward to having a kitchen in a few days.

 

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Frutas… Yum! A few we didn’t recognise. We learned quite quickly that we aren’t supposed to “touch” as it disturbs the beautiful presentation.
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We all love fish, so the recipe files will be needed or enhanced,when we try preparing some of these.
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Is there anyone who can bypass a bakery?

 

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Pan, meaning bread, seems simple enough until you try to decipher the list. Then again, educated guesses on some of these can be pretty accurate. Semilla .. wheat?  3 quesas..three cheeses? What else can you see?

 

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All’s well .. Nothing like some capuchino and tiramisu.
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That ends well! A cremed filled pastry and a berry/chocolate tarte.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for a siesta and then an evening at the Prada. Sometime soon, I think we will all crash for a long rest, but for now, we’re going to go for it!

Fiber Arts

Solitude Update

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Solitude: Snow in Winter and Church on Sunday                                                                                                            A layer of beads to create further dimension and texture has been added.

 

Copyright© 2009 All images and text in all categories are copyright of Mary A. Ritter (aka M'Unique) and may not be reproduced without express permission. · Fiber Arts

Sewing Box – an antique still serving its purpose!

Sewing BoxIn the mid-1950s, my mother had a neighbor craftsman build sewing boxes for my sister and me as a present for our December birthdays. The lid of the box had wooden handles that held scissors and a black hexagon shaped felt piece to serve as a pin cushion. The felt has solidified over the years so I have added several pin cushions held in place with velcro which probably didn’t exist in those days. The lower box has spindles along each edge to hold spools of thread and a wooden holder designed for 2 thimbles. It continues to sit beside my sewing machine, lid always open, with everything I might need right at hand. There are many more sewing tools available now, including a magnetic pin dish, so it is loaded to its hinges! The sewing box has served its purpose for more years than I care to calculate!