Monday, October 17, 2011


Hotel pool overlooks beach and ocean
The ancient city walls of Ronda
In the fall of 1970, I traveled to Europe by myself.  First I visited relatives in Belfast, Ireland, my mother's birthplace.  But true to fashion, the weather was cold and damp.  So I flew off to Barcelona where the weather was not much better.  Go south everyone said.  So I boarded a train for Malaga, Spain.  Little did I realize it was a 24 hour ride, not 4 hours!  But during that ride, I met some terrific guys who had recently graduated college in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).  They were headed for Torremolinos.  I followed their lead and found a studio apartment overlooking the beach where I lived for about 2 months.  Here I am back again 41 years later and except for that apartment high on a cliff over the beach, nothing is the same.  

Ronda has the oldest bullring in the world 
Torremolinos has become the snowbird destination of Europe.  The beachfront is lined with shops and restaurants, hotels and apartments.  It is busy but not  overcrowded in this the shoulder season (between high season and off season).   The weather is magnificent.   Twice a day we walk the promenade that runs along the beach for miles.  Afternoons we usually spend a couple of hours at the pool.  

We did take 2 day trips.  One to the city of Ronda.  Though there is evidence of  prehistoric settlements from the  Neolithic Age in the area, the town was originally settled by Celts and later Romans.  Aside from its history, Ronda is best known for famous summer residents they used to entertain like Orson Wells and Ernest Hemingway who were drawn by the town's famous bull fights.  

The other trip through the Andalucian countryside included a stop at an olive oil factory.  With over 300 million olive trees (some as old as 1,000 years), Spain is the leading producer and exporter of olives and olive oil.  Making oil from olives is not unlike making wine from grapes.  Depending upon the quality of the oil, 4 - 11 kilos (kilo = 2.2 pounds) are necessary to make one kilo of olive oil.   

GOOD FOR A LAUGH:  A blind man sat down next to a Jewish man in the park during Passover.  The Jew is eating his lunch and offers a matzah cracker to the blind man.  He touches it for a moment and says, “Who writes this crap?”Geri's website