I had an interesting chat with a worker in our "Supermarkets overseas" shop (aka Iceland but with a lot of Waitrose items on its shelves). I was asking him why I was holding two items from the fresh produce shelf with identical bar codes, but one was quite reduced and one was not. He pointed to a number on each one, 1803 on one and 1806 on the other, and told me the 18 signified the number week of the year, and the other the day in that week, so my cooking apples were week 18, the 3rd which were reduced, and 6th which weren't. Apart from the fact that I find this a very unfair way to show age - best before date - of an item as few customers would understand it, I was wanting to tell him that I am quite sure this is week 19 of the year!! However, I was keen to finish my shopping so I let it pass in the end. I might add that I bought both sets of apples to make a pie for my visitors arriving on Sunday!
It may be the end of week 19, but I have very little news. The week has passed with my getting all the bed lined and towels washed and dried from last week's visitor, and making the spare bed room ready for the ones arriving this week. I can't think of much else I have done, so I must have spent a lot of time pottering around doing very little! But how lucky am I to be able to have weeks like that sometimes?
However, here, as promised are some photos of our short break in the beautiful Ronda.
Ronda is most famous for its beautiful bridges. The town is set high up on the edge of a deep gorge with two bridges that were originally the only access into it. The 'Old bridge' was replaced by 'The bridge of Ronda' and its construction was completed in 1793. This is the one we could see from our hotel room balcony, and it is used to decorate the many tourist gifts that fill the shops.(Yes I succumbed and bought a fridge magnet and a cheese board with it on!). It divides the main town from the old Town which is the area we were interested in exploring. Here is the bridge as seen from both sides, and the deep gorge below.
From our room we could watch the constant stream of people crossing and recrossing the bridge. The first thing on the other side was this long line of shady arches, each one home to a small shop. When we opened the window on our first morning I was struck by the deep shadows cast by each of these arches.
All along the edge of the gorge there was a pathway with plenty of viewing platforms so you could stand an admire the view stretching across green plains to the distant mountains.
The main one was called Paseo Ernest Hemmingway, and then it became Paseo Orson Welles, and we liked to walk along this in the evenings before finding a restaurant for our dinner. We stopped at this parador because I liked the pergola on it. We stood on the little viewing platform and someone offered to take a photo of us together, which was much better than my shakey selfies.
A bit further along, we sat under a big tree and watched the little birds that were busy collecting bugs and seeds from the top of the grassy slopes. Chris patiently waited while I tried to get a picture of one. The mechanism on my camera makes a noise and it kept frightening them off just as I had focused on them. Eventually I did manage to get this one.
Then we sat a bit longer and watched the sun setting over the mountains.
On our first full day, armed with a good guide book that a friend lent to me, we crossed the bridge into the old town and started to explore. The roads were narrow and steep with sloping bends, and everywhere was big rounded cobble stones which made walking quite difficult.
Our first stop was at the Church of Our Lady of the Incarnation, also know as Santa Maria. It had lovely arches and balconies along the front and a renaissance belfry. At the time we only admired it from outside, but later I went back to it and did go inside, but more about that next week.
We then followed some steep roads that led down to the Iglesia Espiritu Santo. This is it taken from the ramparts nearby.
In the centre of the wall you can see the tall bell tower. From the courtyard of the church we looked up to wave at some children who had climbed up it to a small viewing platform.
Of course, I wanted to go up there too, so we climbed a very narrow winding spiral staircase, praying we wouldn't meet too many people coming the other way. And we managed to arrive at the top just as the bell struck the half hour! Had we been thirty minutes later it would have struck twelve times for mid-day and I think we might not have stayed to admire the view!
I have to say it was easier going up than coming down. I am a compulsive counter, and can nearly always tell you how many steps there were at the top of a stairway, so I know there were 65 steps up this tower. Chris managed to come down quite well, but I think I did more of a crab walk sideways down, but we made it in one piece.
I am not a huge fan of the very ornate altar pieces and icons in these ancient churches, but I have to admire the work that went into making them, and there was some very interesting art work and beautiful domed ceilings too.
We moved on to Moondragon Palace which now houses the town museum. There were some very old painted domes, and this construction showing how the first settlers would have lived.
This is just one of the beautifully carved wooden doors that we saw.
The next building was the house of Saint John Bosco, now known mainly for its gardens. They are built around the central pond with its wide tiled surround. In the centre are four giant stone frogs spouting water from their mouths.
Many of the walls were beautifully tiled, and there were beds of roses in gold and red, all in full bloom.
Again the house was perched on the egde of the gorge so the views over the back railings were lovely. There was a small strategically placed platform from where the photos of the back of the main bridge could be taken.
This man was sitting in the garden enjoying the sun, and painstakingly piecing together scraps of pottery that he said were from the neolithic age.
I think we have seen enough of Ronda for this week. Next week I will show you what we saw on our second day. But before I go I will share these pretty flowers that grew everywhere. They are I think a type of snapdragon, but they were almost as big as the antirrhinums we grow in the garden in UK. They were always pink and they sprouted from crevasses in rocks, and all along the roadside. They all seemed to be flowering together and they were so pretty.
To leave you on a lighter note, here is a meme a friend sent to me this week. It is a bit unkind to all those lovely dads out there, but it still make me chuckle.