Suzanne Manners: The incidental tourist

Ronda. Image: Pixabay

I love a good cathedral as much as the next sweaty tourist. Show me an amphitheatre and I am on cloud nine. After a spectacular breakfast at Nellie Gs here in Benavista, armed only with a mobile phone and a sense of optimism, I set off for Ronda. Beautiful, full of charm and history and the most incredible vistas (what on earth possessed those ancient folk to build an aqueduct in a gorge a billion miles deep? Breathtaking views but goodness imagine forgetting your spanner). It was a very humid day so the going was tough. Tourists in Ronda work for their vistas as did the poor sods who built the Tajo.

I have lived in Spain for nearly 15 years and tend to spend most of my time between Marbella and Gibraltar since moving two years ago from Alicante. It is safe to say that I saw more of Spain as a tourist from the UK than I do now as a resident so this weekend I set off to become an incidental tourist of one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

Ronda was lovely and calm, a few tourists but no jostling or spoiled views so well worth the visit. I bought a lovely blue tile (I do love a blue tile) from a Grandma and grandson set up, was charged the earth for using my bank card, and returned wearily home down windingly terrifying mountain roads.

The next day I set off for Cadiz, the home of the armada before its ignominious  defeat by Drake’s fire ships. The port is huge and spectacular, the turquoise sea framing the outskirts of the city. Another hot and humid day and spent slinking around the shadows due to sunburn from the previous day. I paid for the entrance to the cathedral and was suitably underwhelmed. It possesses an incredible exterior with a large sandstone dome, unlike most of Spain’s more Gothic places of worship, it’s constructed of two different coloured stone and nestles like a fat albino toad on the edge of the coast.

Interior wise it is surprisingly and disappointingly bland (sorry!). That done and ticked off I went to the Roman amphitheatre, blessedly free and a real find. Those Romans certainly knew how to build a theatre. Cadiz is a stunning city, busy (difficult to find a parking space) but vibrant and lively but not really a day trip kind of place.

So, where to next? As my return to work looms above my head like a disapproving matriarch, probably closer to home, Benahavis, the Roman spa in Guadalmina perhaps? Or back to Nellie Gs and a quick drink at The Victoria and Albert.

Sounds good to me.

Suzanne Manners


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