On Being Gay by the Strait

BY C Brian Smith

August 11 2011 8:30 PM ET

COSTA DEL SOL 02 X560 | ADVOCATE.COM Aside from my fourth-grade class trip to Six Flags, I’ve neither been carsick nor afraid of heights — but I’ve also never made the 90-minute journey through the Sierra Bermeja Mountains to the ancient cliffside village of Ronda, a Spanish gem that is decidedly worth a touch of queasiness. The town is set on a plateau, encircled by mountains, and sliced in two by a gorge that reaches hundreds of feet down to a barely visible river. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more romantic setting.

“If a honeymoon or an elopement is not a success in Ronda,” Hemingway once wrote, “it would be as well to start for Paris and both commence making your own friends.” The title of the town’s crown jewel is a toss-up between the Parador de Ronda, a five-star hotel next to the Puente Nuevo bridge that occupies the former Town Hall (circa 1761), and the Plaza de Toros de Ronda, one of Spain’s oldest bullfighting rings, which also houses a museum.

I’m saddened to leave, but add both sites to an ever-expanding list of places on the Costa del Sol to which I’m determined to return, again and again. How could I not, when everything here is, as Hemingway would put it, so actively pleasurable to breathe? Spain.info; VisitCostadelSol.com 



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