After being in Seville for three days the next stop of the Studiosus tour “Andalusien mit Muße” was Conil de la Frontera where the Hotel Fuerte Conil-Costa Luz awaited us. Checking in to room #222 brought me the relaxation that I needed after too much information about history, architecture, etc. The weather was amazingly good after so many days of low temperatures, rain and wind. First of all I’m going to explain how we got here.
The bus brought us from Seville to Jerez, where a stop at the horse riding show of the Yeguada Cartuja and the Winery Williams & Humbert were mandatory. Anyone who loves horses should go there and see the beauty of a horse breeding and training facility. State-owned – and only open to the public on Saturdays – it represents the ability to keep a specific horse breed alive. And the winery was breathtaking: 600 l Barrels were arranged in four levels and several rows of hundred meters of length in a huge storage hall. A countless amount of Sherry of different ages and qualities created a specific odour in the huge storage depot. The representative of the winery explained the creation process of the different Sherries of Jerez followed by a tasting where we could experience the flavours.
The tour continued and we reached Conil de la Frontera late afternoon where we could rest for three days: Beach time for example or just walking along the Atlantic sea front from the hotel towards the Conil beach center. It was nice to walk on the sands and the well prepared walkways and enjoying the sun, at last. The hotel was very mass tourism oriented and filled with people from Germany. I didn’t know that when I booked the Studiosus tour, otherwise I would have refrained from this journey. I travel more individual than being a mass tourist guy. But I did stand it for a couple of days to be part of the crowd. The room was nice as the exterior of the hotel was. But the restaurant where we had to take our breakfast and dinner was too big and loud. Anyway – only three days!
The next day an excursion to Vejer was offered. This small town is a typical Pueblo Blanco for which Andalusia is famous. This town was kind of romantic but very touristic, too. Our tour continued along the Costa de la Luz towards Barbate, the Lighthouse at Cape Trafalgar, where the Battle of Trafalgar on October 21st 1805 took place, back to Conil where the official day finished. Our tour-guide offered for the upcoming day an excursion to Cadiz. I decided that I had enough of old castles, Moorish churches as well as watch-out towers and stayed for a relaxing day at the hotel, the beach and town because the upcoming day we had to leave to get to Ronda.
On the way to Ronda the next day we visited Baelo Claudia, an excavation site of a Roman settlement, which offered impressive insights into the Roman life of that time. We continued on uphill roads into the high valley where Ronda is located. We passed vantage points from which we could see Gibraltar, the northern coast of Morocco and other Pueblos Blancos in the mountains. A route that was very contemplative, but also very long. Finally we reached Ronda and moved into the rooms at Hotel Maestranza. Unfortunately, a room that was situated to the street and loud. The air conditioning did not work as in all other hotels on the trip, and it was once again confirmed that as a group tourist you get the worst rooms of the booked category.
From the hotel it was only a few hundred meters to one of the most popular Ronda tourist attractions, the Puente Nuevo. Now we were compensated for the long journey with a wonderful view of the bridge lying in the evening sun. After I had shot my photo documents, I stopped by a typical Andalusian restaurant and ordered tapas. Together with a Spanish wine the perfect end to a long day of travel.
Before we headed back to Málaga, where the Studiosus trip “Andalusien mit Muße” ended, we visited the old town together with the Don Bosco House and the church. A compulsory exercise after 12 days of travel, but also a nice farewell to Ronda.