Today was fantastic – we went for a road trip to Ronda which is inland from us. The first thing that amazed the kids and us too was the wind turbines – we drove past at least 50, gracefully turning. We stopped to take a photo – on one side of the road these very futuristic wind turbines and the other side cows wearing bells.

The scenery on the way was superb as we climbed into the mountains. It is credit to Peters driving that on the start of the drive I was clutching the arm rest for dear life and on the way back I almost fell asleep (almost, part of me has to stay awake, you know, to ‘help’ with the driving).

They call the little villages on the way to Ronda the White Towns, they’re really picturesque. We stopped at Gaucin and talked to a women who’d lived in there for seven years. Goodness knows how you make a living there – I guess from the tourists.

We got to Rhonda and made our way down the main street to the Plaza de Toro. The street was pedestrian and totally crowded. A few hours later during siesta it was empty, like a ghost town and most of the shops were shut (sad for Daniel by the time we found the toy shop he’d glimpsed in the car it was shut too).

The Plaza de Toros is the oldest bullring in Spain (it opened in 1785). In fact, Rhonda is the birthplace of an order of Knights, the Maestranza, who created the first set of rules for bullfighting on horseback, and then in 1754, Pedro Romero was born in Rhonda. He is the father of the modern bullfight. His grandfather had leapt into the ring when an aristocrat had fallen of his horse and used his hat to distract the bull and voila, bullfighting was born. Pedro, his grandson laid down the pattern for all future bullfights with the style and moves he used and taught.

Yesterday we read about bullfighting, it’s pretty gross and awful, but it sure made visiting the bullring much more interesting. PC and kids chased each other around, Peter being the bull, the kids being the matadors. Of course the bull got away after a few injuries!

The other interesting thing at the bullring was the museum. It held an antique fire-arms collection of shotguns and carbines from the 17th,18th and 19thcenturies. There were a few more guns than swords in your collection Scott – actually there were 290! Daniel pointed out a few you’d liked to see!

I was fascinated with the rules of duels – apparently there was one type where the duellers put their weapons down, walked away then walked back, picked up there pistols and fired. It was considered ungentalmanly to take careful aim. Try saying that anyone you know who’s going hunting deer in the bush, “please don’t aim, that so ungentalmanly”. Also, in some duels lots were drawn as to who would fire first! What a bummer if you lost that one!

After that we went walking around and suddenly came upon the view! It is stunning – Ronda is perched on 130m ridge that drops away to a river gorge. Not good for those of us who suffer a bit of vertigo. But it really is amazing and takes your breath away (and anything else that you let fall over the edge).

The other things to mention about today was the McDonalds icecream. You may remember that I fell in love with chocolate muesli, well the Spanish even dip the top of their McDonald’s icecream cones in chocolate. Quite a good idea I must say.

The final thing about chocolate is rather sad. At a family vote at breakfast and a count of at least one pimple on each of us (even my 8 year old daughter) it was decided we can no longer have chocolate muesli for breakfast. At the supermarket on the way home I did think about trying to sneak the bran and chocolate shavings muesli past as sultana bran but Peter was way to on to it for that. So sigh, only a few more days left till the chocolate muesli is gone and we have to have plain bran flakes for breakfast.

Thank goodness for chocolate pastries.

(Visited 29 February 2012)