Welcome to this week’s Postcard From – the feature where I chat to some lucky explorer about their recent travels. If you would like to take part please click here for more info.
This week, I’m welcoming back a familiar face on Postcard From – blogger Kunal from Little Blue Rucksack has taken part a grand total of several times before. Quenching his wanderlust, losing himself in a good book and enjoying cinematic catharsis are a few of Kunal’s favourite things. An architect and urban designer by choice, a traveller by blood and a self-proclaimed movie buff is how he would best describe himself in a (very big) nutshell. Kunal has been travelling since he was 3 months old, thanks to his dad’s job as a diplomat, and now it’s become his addiction. If not physically travelling, he escapes the daily grind through books and movies.
Welcome back Kunal! Where have you been lately?
I had been planning a reunion with some of my friends for the longest time and we finally made it happen! We chose Spain as the best option for young 30 somethings like ourselves, and one of our stops was the southern region of Andalusia. We made our way to one of the busiest white villages of the region – Ronda, also known as the town where one of the first bull fighting rings of Spain was built.
Ooh Ronda, that sounds lovely! Where did you stay?
In Ronda we stayed in this guesthouse not too far from the Ronda city centre. It was a small 3 to 4 room guesthouse which was absolutely wonderful, called Boabdil Guesthouse. I highly recommend it to everyone. With breakfast included, we didn’t have to worry about that early morning meal, and the owner was helpful, kind and understanding of our schedules. This place was a real cozy treat!
Sounds perfect! So what did you get up to during your stay?
Ronda is known for its winding narrow streets passing by white houses and that’s what we did mostly. Just strolled through the streets taking in the Spanish sun! Ronda is also famous for two other things – a bridge and Flamenco. We spent a good part of our day finding a shaded spot on the trail where we got some great views of the Puente Nuevo. In the evening we found ourselves a restaurant which has food with a Flamenco show.
What was your highlight?
The highlight was definitely the Flamenco performance. I never realised how influential the Moorish invasion of southern Spain had been till I saw the performance. The music and lyrics had hints of Spanish and Arab tunes, the dance itself was powerful. It transports you to a whole different place. It is definitely a must do when in Ronda. We went to the El Quinque, and for 13 Euros per head, it wasn’t too heavy on the pocket either.
I LOVE Spanish food! How was the food in Ronda?
Andalusian food is all about the paella! And that’s exactly what we feasted on our entire time there. No regrets whatsoever. But don’t forget to go to the famous Don Miguel restaurant as well – if not for the food, go for the view. Located almost under the famous bridge, you get some great views of the valley down below. It’s a unique experience. Another place I would highly recommend is the Restaurante Bodega San Francisco. Located across from the Gate and Walls of Almocabar, this restaurant has a massive outdoor seating plan in a large square and is open pretty late. Here you can enjoy some really good tapas.
Can you recommend any cool things to do?
I can recommend you what NOT to do. Don’t enter the bull ring. Don’t support the cruel bull fighting culture. As much as I am all for preserving traditional practices for the sake of culture, there are some that need to be banned – and bull fighting in one of them. Sorry, just had to put that little disclaimer in there, and I mean no disrespect to the Spanish people or their wonderfully colourful culture.
Do you have any tips or advice for anyone planning a trip to Ronda?
If you do plan a trip to Ronda, make sure you go when it’s not too hot. Since it’s such a walkable village, and best enjoyed on long walks, you’d be happier if it was less than 30 degrees. The heat got to us many times, and we were looking for shelter or pit stops every hour or so. Try to stay in the older part of town, because the newer part is pretty dull and there isn’t much to do, and it’s quite a walk to the heart of the village, which is bustling with countless eateries.
Finally: what do you love most about travelling?
You know how everyone has their own way of getting an adrenaline rush? Whether it’s a movie, a book, or a roller coaster ride? Well travelling is my drug. It’s my rush. The exhilaration that comes with travel is happiness epitomised. Nothing, and I mean nothing, gives me the same joy as travelling does. You know how partners complete one another? Well travel completes me.
NB – All images are owned by Kunal.