En Route to Nerja

Ronda

This morning, we walked to the train station in Seville to pick up a rental car to continue our tour through southern Spain. The car (a Nissan Juke) was much bigger than we wanted and didn't have great visibility. On top of that, it turns out that driving in Spain is not very easy. Dylan had absolutely no problem navigating a ton of roundabouts and driving on the wrong side of the road in the UK, but Spain proved to be challenging. That said, our car did get us to where we wanted to go, and parts of the drive were quite pretty.

Our ultimate destination today was the beach town of Nerja, but we decided to stop at a town called Ronda, which is located on a big gorge. It ended up that we just so happened to show up on the day of the town's biggest event of the year - a bull fight kicking off Ronda's festival week. (Ronda is considered the home of modern day bull-fighting.) The town was packed with people all dressed up to go to the bull fight, which was pretty fun!

We enjoyed exploring the very picturesque town and seeing the views of the gorge from the main bridge in town.

After our site-seeing, we found a tapas place for lunch. They did a ton of small, cheap tapas. We ended up trying 7-8 and getting drinks, for less than $20! Most notable was the fish and queso fresco that I thought was going to be gross, but ended up being quite good!

Nerja

After lunch, we continued our drive to Nerja. After finding a slightly sketchy but free parking lot and checking into our hotel, we walked across the street from our hotel to check out the beach. It looked so inviting that we immediately went back to the hotel, put on our bathing suits, and walked down the stairs to the beach. The beach areas weren't all that big, but the sand was soft and the water was crystal clear and the perfect temperature to be refreshing in the heat. Dylan and I quickly decided that we are fans of swimming in the Mediterranean!

As the sun started to get low in the sky and the beach got shady, we decided to head up and get some food for dinner.

After ordering some food at one of the popular tapas bars, we ended up quite unintentionally becoming the best friends of a pretty drunk old British guy. He came out of the inside of the restaurant, walked up to our table with a cigarette in his hand, and motioned toward the ash tray on our table. I thought he was asking if he could take the ash tray to his own table, so I said, "Sure, go ahead." Turns out, he was actually wanting to stand at our tiny table and use the ash tray where it was sitting. Once I realized this, neither Dylan nor I were willing to tell him that we didn't really want him awkwardly chilling with us and smoking over our food. We hoped that he would finish his cigarette and move on quickly, but that would have been too easy. Instead, he ended up smoking multiple cigarettes and engaging us in awkward small-talk for more than an hour. Just when we thought he might leave, he introduced us to his neice who he was traveling with. We then got to learn all about her life story and plans for the rest of the summer. (In case you are wondering: Her roommate at Uni was also named Steph, she is a police officer in London who commutes from Brighton but also owns a vacation house near Nerja, and she almost signed up to do a multi-day cliffs walk in Brighton with her friend but now is going to do the end of the Santiago de Compostelo pilgrimage walk with her sisters. Oh and her son lives in Australia and makes drone videos, but she hates Australians for being behind-the-times in comparison to the Brits.)

Our only regret was not being bold enough to ask them for a photo to document the experience before they finally left. They surely would have happily posed with us.

With most of our evening absorbed by our friends, we ended up just checking out the view of the beach lit up at night before going to bed.