Archive for the La Ciudad Category

Ronda – La Ciudad – Sunday lunch with a view

Posted in Andalusia, La Ciudad, Malaga Province, Ronda, Spain with tags on March 18, 2017 by gannet39

This restaurant in La Ciudad was recommended by Toko the receptionist at my hotel as a good place for Sunday lunch and it’s also described by Lonely Planet as one of Ronda’s best restaurants.

Restaurante Albacara in the Hotel Montelirio (Advanced A), 8 Calle Tenorio, www.montelirio.com

Toko told me the two things that make it special are its food, which is excellent, and the views which are stunning. She said reservations were advisable so I popped in just after midday to bag a table with a view. I was greeted by Ion, the effervescent maître d’ who is originally from the Basque country. When I came back a couple of hours later I found to my pleasure that he’d saved me the best table in the house, Mesa #1.

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It’s in the corner of the restaurant with views in two directions; the fields and hills of the countryside to the west of Ronda looking one way…

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…and the Puente Nuevo and El Tajo looking the other.

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I kicked off with the homemade Foie con Membrillo y Pistacho which was fabulous (A).

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In a town famed for its bull ring, the obvious choice for the main was the Rabo de Toro Estofado a la Rondeña. Ion explained that the Ronda style of this national dish had a lighter gravy made with more vegtables and was less gelatinous than other versions. It was fantastic (A).

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After this a media racion of cheeses was needed to finish off the wine. These were Rulo Cabra (a white goat’s cheese), a Manchego semi-curado, and Boffard Viejo (all A). Ion told me he thinks Boffard is Spain’s best cheese.

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I also had the best bottle of local red so far (A); a 2010 Cab Sauv crianza called ‘Encaste’ from Bodega Dona Felisa who also made the Chinchilla I had at La Lechugita. I’m on the waiting list for their next vintage.

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Such a good meal needed to be finished off properly so I had a look at their list of brandies and spotted one of Spain’s finest, Luis Felipe, at a mere €13 for a glass, much cheaper than I’d ever seen it anywhere before.

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Obviously this bumped the bill up significantly to about €82 but that didn’t stop me bunging Ion a €10 tip for taking care of me so well. He tried to refuse it but I insisted. It was a meal I’ll always remember.

Ronda – La Ciudad – things to see in the old town

Posted in Andalusia, La Ciudad, Malaga Province, Ronda, Spain with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2017 by gannet39

There’s heaps to see in the old town, La Ciudad. These are just a few of the sights that I particularly liked. More info here and here. Google map here.

At the end of Calle Real is the Puente Viejo (Old Bridge).

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This was once the only means of crossing El Tajo before the completion of the Puente Nuevo.

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In front of you, you’ll also be able to see the Arco de Felipe V and the walls defending the more approachable side of the city.

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If you continue through the arch you’ll reach the upper part of La Ciudad. However if you turn left before the arch and go down the stairs…

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… you’ll come to Los Baños Árabes, a Moorish public bathhouse dating from the 13th-century. It’s considered to be one of the best-preserved in Spain.

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It’s open from 10:00 till 19:00 Monday to Friday, and 10:00 till 15:00 at the weekend. Entrance was €3 in 2016.

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Here’s a video taken from the Puente Viejo. It starts looking down Calle Real where you can see the Fountain of Eight Spouts in front of the church, before moving right taking in the third bridge built during the Roman era. Then it swings past the baths, the stairs with the walls and arch above and finishes looking down into El Tajo.

Up in the old town, another beautiful place to see is the Palacio de Mondragón in Plaza de Mondragón, a former Moorish palace. It houses the Museo Municipal, the local museum. It cost €3 to get in and it’s open from 10:00 till 19:00 from Monday till Friday and from 10:00 till 15:00 Saturday and Sunday.

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To be honest the museum displays are pretty boring and disappointingly there isn’t much to see from Ronda itself. My advice is to scoot through the exhibits at speed and spend more time in other parts of the palace.

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The building itself is wonderful. There are two courtyards, the first has vaulted brick arches, marble columns and a well.

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The second gives access to a beautiful garden with a fountain.

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The terrace perched atop the precipice has a fantastic vista across the countryside.

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There’s a second terrace…

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…which also has marvellous views.

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Calle Arminan is the main street that runs through La Ciudad from the Puente Nuevo. This photo was taken on the bridge and Calle Arminan is on the left.

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Where Calle Arminan and Calle Marques de Salvetierra meet at Plaza Abul Beka, you’ll find the Alminar de San Sebastián.

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As the doorway suggests, this was once the minaret of a small mosque. It was later converted to be the bell tower of a church that no longer exists.

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In Plaza Duquesa de Parcent you’ll find the most important church in Ronda; the Iglesia de Santa Maria la Mayor. It was built over the town’s main mosque after the Reconquista.

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If you keep going south you’ll eventually come to the in the lower part of La Ciudad and the Puerta de Almocábar, the Moorish gate in the city wall.

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You can climb the stairs of the watchtowers to get more good views.

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Another important church is here; the Iglesia del Espíritu Santo (centre left in the picture above). It looks like a bit of a lump but I’m sure it’s nicer inside.

There’s lots more to see in La Ciudad, this is just what I saw in the limited time I had.

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