Day 6: Ronda and Flameco

With groggy eyes, students meandered their way to our buffet breakfast this morning at Hotel Murillo. While energy was evidently low, there was promise: we were going to travel to Ronda.

If anyone has been in a class with Señor Castellanos, which most of the students on the exchange have, they would be aware of his obsession with the famous bridge called Puente Nuevo in Ronda. It was built in 1793. With this in mind, we all hustled to our 3 hour bus ride.

The ride, to put it short, was overflowing with sleepy kids and singing. A juxtaposition of sorts, but a ride we will remember fondly. Castellanos used the microphone in the bus to give us an informal tour of the vast mountain side. Although only about one third of the people on the bus heard (the rest were asleep), the information was rich with years of Castellanos’ knowledge of the area.

Once arrived, we trekked to the bridge, took many photos, and a group of us decided to go down the mountain to the bottom of the waterfall. The view was phenomenal. Dirty shoes, muddy hands and sore legs were the ingredients of the hike back up, but will serve as incredible memories. It is breathtaking that in such a short amount of time (about a 30 minute hike), we were able to travel over centuries of history.

But the fun was not close to being finished. Students were able to explore the town, eat lunch and shop for souvenirs. It did begin to rain, which we were oddly thankful for. Had it rained a mere hour earlier, we would not have been able to hike down the waterfall trail.

The ride back was equally filled with sleepy students and Señora Starkey’s expressive music and singing.

At night, we went out to dinner as a group. Next, in one of our more climatic outings of Sevilla, we went to see a traditional flamenco dancing show.

In the historic Los Gallos Tablao Flamenco theater, our group filled the first three rows. To describe the dancing would be to write a novel. The woman fearlessly stomped their feet, kicked their dresses, and committed to a deeper narrative of the dance itself. The musicians purely fed off of the dancers clonking shoes. The emotional intensity and whimsical rhythm captivated students and culminated an overwhelmingly beautiful last day in Sevilla.

-Mimi Geller

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