Costa Del Sol: Marbella & Ronda, Spain

The remainder of our stay in Gibraltar was lovely and relaxing. We stayed the night on a Yacht hotel, with a room overlooking the Spanish mountains and massive sailboats in the Ocean Village marina. We enjoyed a couple of specialty cocktails at Bianca’s Gin Garden, ate an amazing meal at Gatsby’s in Ocean Village, and ended the night with my first round of table-style Black Jack at the casino on the yacht. All-in-all, we would absolutely recommend a stop through Gibraltar – 1.5 to 2 days is all you need for the full experience.

Marbella

Friday, mid-morning, we rented a car and drove up the coast to the town of Marbella. We stayed in the Old Town District, made up of quaint, stone-paved streets, brilliant bunches of flowers and incredible shopping boutiques; so unique and stylish that Trev even had the urge to indulge, and dropped a decent amount of cash on his new “Ricky Martin pants & fitted button-ups”, an awesomely pink European-style swimsuit and TWO pair off loafers. It was enough entertainment for the whole trip, watching him try everything on and adjust to the Spanish style fitting of clothing. Call me biased, but he can pull off just about anything. 😉

Below are a couple of fun photos we snapped while walking the town, including the beautiful beaches, and cultural street decor of Marbella:

Friday evening, we took the recommendation of our hotel manager and dined at a Mediterranean seafood cantina a couple of blocks over. The mussels and fresh seafood were delicious, but the most memorable part of the meal was trying, for the first time, a plate piled with fried anchovies. They weren’t bad, but would definitely say they are more of an acquired taste than something you might fully enjoy the first time or two.

Ronda

Saturday morning, we were picked up by a guided tour bus, bound for a day-trip to the mountainous town of Ronda. The trip got off to a bit of a rough start, as we were not prepared for the hour long ride of twisting 900 meters up narrow hillside roads. But a few wrist-squeezes and 7ups later, the nausea subsided and we were set for a day of touring a town full of Spanish history.

Ronda is split into the old and new town; the two connected by the old and new bridge. The Romans founded the old town 2000 years ago, as part of the original Roman Empire. They also built the old bridge. The “new” bridge, built in the 1700s by the Moorish settlers, standing over 350 feet tall, is the most famous landmark in the area:

As you can imagine, the history of the city lent itself to incredible character and unique architectural features. And because it was built atop a mountain, the landscape scenery from the edge of the city was equally interesting and beautiful.
A couple of highlights of the tour included the ancient wine cellar and the original Spanish bullfighting ring.
The wine cellar, built by the Romans nearly 2000 years ago, was the only cellar they had at the time, and was used to store all of their drinking wine. The cellar was built in the style of the Roman houses of the time – two stories, one for winter and one for summer, with a beautifully decorated courtyard in the center. We had the opportunity to try some of the wines that have been created here since their Roman beginning. Some were more graceful with their tastings than others. 😉

The bullring in Ronda was the first of its kind. Prior to official structures, bullfighting was conducted on horses, in the middle of town squares. The first man to try it on his feet had an official bullring stadium built for the occasion, in Ronda. This specific bullring is now only used for bullfights once a year, on the anniversary of his birthday.

For the remainder of our day in Ronda, we had free time to explore the streets, obsess over the mass amounts of Iberian ham available, indulge in more Tapas and checkout some of the more interesting offerings of the town of Ronda:

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