The Great Plotnik

Friday, October 26, 2012

10-26: Ronda. Happy Birthday to Me

Zahara, Grazalema and Ronda are Andalucian hill towns, whitewashed against the dry mountains, every single house in town painted the same color white. From a distance they look like the Renaissance picture of Heaven, like gleaming Paradise snuggled in amongst the rocks.

For the most part, Southern Spain looks like Southern California, dry, fragrant, citrus, wild fennel, acacia. It took around two hours to drive to Zahara from Sevilla this morning, this time in a little red Fiat, noodling up seriously windy roads in an intermittently heavy rain, with a working GPS this time. Plot and Duck parked and climbed to the old tower, built by the Moors in 1300 to keep out the Christians, and when that didn't work, restored by the Christians to keep the Moors from coming back.

But what really happened was that the Christians went and discovered America, got filthy rich and powerful, then within 150 years pissed every drop of it away and became a second rate used-to-be country run by dissolute religious fanatics who worship the Virgin Mary and ham.

Look closely and you'll see The Great Plotnik at the bottom of that tower in Zahara, holding on for dear life as The Great Ansel Duck lines up her photo. His people were tossed out of Spain five hundred and twenty years ago by Queen Isabella, but now she's dead and we're back, Baby, holding your country up with our enthusiastic dollars.

These old towns are really beautiful. Zahara was considered the gateway to Granada, the last Moorish holdout in Spain, but it fell in 1482 and Granada in 1492 and that was it for the Moors and the Jews. 1492 was one great year for ham.

Exquisite Ronda -- Plot and Duck walked first on the Old Bridge, built in 1300, and then on the New Bridge, built in the 1750s. Both those bridges are still standing so Plottie didn't feel the least bit old today, on his birthday.

Plot and Duck met in the PaleoFowlish Age, when ice covered the first half of the planet, and cream the other half, and yet here they are today, still doing what they love best -- wandering around. How good is that?

It's important to celebrate birthdays, so they went to the Almocabar for dinner, up in the town, as opposed to down below, where they are staying under those bridges, in a kind of inn called Alavera de los Banos, located on the site of the ancient Moorish Baths, back when there were still Moors in Ronda, but the baths of course are really Roman baths, from back when there were still Romans around here. It puts getting a little bit older in perspective.

If I could, thinks Plottie, I would have liked to rent out El Almocabar tonight for the entire flock a yiz. We could have all shared in the conversation about which wine would be best ( a Ribera Duero from up North), what happens to the bull after the matador kills it (they chill it for one day then roast it and people can come and eat it)(bet you didn't know that), and whether it would be best to call the one taxi in town to come pick us up or take a chance and walk home, after drinking all that wine, and possibly tumble off the new bridge, bounce off the old bridge and end up in the Guadalvein River, dead as the Moors or the Detroit Tigers.

We took the taxi.


At 8:59 AM, Blogger mary ann said...

we celebrated your and look forward to a gala lunch when you return. Very cool 3-way photo of you with iPad...


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