About an hour and half from Malaga is the incredible town of Ronda.
The town is situated in a mountainous area about 750 m above sea level. The Guadalevín River runs through the city, dividing it in two and carving out the steep El Tajo canyon on which the city precariously perches.
Hemingway’s novel For Whom the Bell Tolls describes the execution of Nationalist sympathizers early in the Spanish Civil War.
The Republicans murder the Nationalists by throwing them from cliffs in an Andalusian village, and Hemingway allegedly based the account on killings that took place in Ronda at the cliffs of El Tajo.
Here Neil gets a dizzying taste of the heights! It is spectacular, breath taking and more than a little knee wobbly!!!
Next stop is peering over the tourist favourite – the 18th century Puente Nuevo ‘new’ bridge.
It straddles the 100m chasm below and offers unparalleled views out over the Serranía de Ronda mountains.
Ronda is also famous as the birthplace of modern bullfighting. Here’s the town bull ring.
Then we brave the scorching heat to head off down into the ravine in order to truly appreciate the amazing technological marvel that the Puente Nuevo bridge really is.
The architect was Jose Martin de Aldehuela and the chief builder was Juan Antonio Díaz Machuca.
The bridge was started in 1751 and took an epic 42 years to build. Sadly fifty workers were killed during its construction.
The bridge is truly awe inspiring when looking up at it from the ravine basin. If you look closely there is a chamber beneath the central arch that was used for a variety of purposes, including as a prison.
During the 1936-1939 civil war both sides allegedly used the prison as a torture chamber for captured opponents, killing some by throwing them from the windows to the rocks at the bottom of the El Tajo gorge