We left Granada in the fog. It was a hair-raising bus ride through the mountains, but our trusty driver, Pepe, brought us through safely to great applause. After crossing the mountains we stopped first at Antequera, the location of neolithic archeological remains, then proceeded to Ronda, a striking city built across a dramatic ravine. After lunch, we had an uneventful ride to our hotel on the Costa del Sol, where we would spend two final nights in Spain before crossing into Morocco.

Pepe & Gerardo

Since Pepe accomplished a heroic feat by bringing us through the foggy mountains (seriously, we've made a lot of hairy bus trips, but this was truly special), it seems appropriate to include a picture of him (on the left) and our wonderful guide Gerardo, who was an encyclopedia of information about Spain's history, culture and geography.

AntequeraThe UNESCO World Heritage Site includes three dolmen, ancient burial sites of huge stones, near the town of Antequera. This one, the Dolmen de Menga, was built prior to 2000 BC and is one of the largest in Europe.

RondaOur visit to the ancient town of Ronda was altogether too brief. The modern city is built on the two sides of a deep gorge. Most of our travels are teasers that make us want to learn more and come back.

This is the surrounding countryside as seen from the "New Bridge."

Ronda New BridgeThe New Bridge, built in the 18th century, spans the ravine separating the two parts of the city. It replaced an older one that collapsed.

One of our group climbed down into the ravine and I'm sure got much more dramatic pictures, but I was more interested in lunch (at least for this trip).

RondaThe pictures from the high ground can't give quite the dramatic perspective, but at least this one indicates the depth of the gorge that this city spans.

BullfighterRonda was one of the birthplaces of bullfighting. This bullring was constructed in the 18th century at the time that bull fighters began to face the bull on foot rather than on horseback. Two major bullfighting families originated in Ronda: the Romero and the Ordóñez families. This sculpture is of Cayetano Ordóñez, who was used as the model of the bullfighter in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises.

Costa del SolThat night we settled into our hotel on the Costa del Sol, where we stayed for a couple of nights. I don't recall which town it was in. This was the view west from our hotel room.

The hotel had a private beach reached through an extensive garden. Since it was winter, and windy to boot, there were no bathing beauties to be seen and no temptation to take a dip in the Mediterranean. Not that I am a fan of beaches at the best of times.

GibraltarThe next day we took a day trip to Gibraltar. "The Rock" is distinctive, although we never got the familiar perspective from the Prudential logo.

In high season the border crossing from Spain into Gibraltar, which is British territory, can take hours. There was plenty of space for busses and cars to wait. We zipped right across.

Although Gibraltar was ceded "in perpetuity" to Britain in 1713, Spain continues to assert sovereignty over the territory. Nevertheless, the inhabitants consistently choose to remain a British dependency.

Looking across the Bay of Gibraltar (or Bahía de Algeciras, depending on your perspective) toward the Spanish port of Algeciras. We will depart from this port for Morocco on the following day.

The jetty at the base of the mountain is part of an extensive British repair station for naval vessels.

Sue and friendOne of the reasons to travel all the way to the top of the rock is to see the resident Barbary macaques. While I was taking this picture, Sue was very anxious that I get it over with so that she could move away from the critter (she wasn't actually standing close to it in spite of the appearance). They could be aggressive to be sure and were very agile. A little later one jumped on my back from quite a distance away! No harm done to me or ape although it was QUITE startling.

Barbary ape Hamming it up for the tourists.

StairsWe rode to the top of the rock in taxis, but it is possible to climb these intimidating Mediterranean Steps. At the time of our visit they were posted as unfit for use, but have since been repaired.

There is also a cable car to the top.

TatooMake no mistake about it, Gibraltar is British. And in the tourist business. At regular times during the day there is a "changing of the guard" with red-coated regalia.

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