Superterranean and Mediterranean


Help Me Ronda. A green cross marks a pharmacy further down a block of colorful buildings in beautiful Ronda, Andalucía, Spain.

Having arrived in the stunning city of Ronda the night before, the morning of our fifth day of photography in Andalucía was devoted to its streets. There is much to see in Ronda: the 230-year-old new bridge and the twice-as-old old bridge and the even older Arab Bridge that everyone calls the Roman Bridge as if it were yet another thousand years older than it already is. There is the bullring more formally known as the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Ronda, the beautiful Mondragón Palace, and spectacular cliff-top views over olive groves towards the Sierra de las Nieves (Snow Mountain Range). And the streets have the beautiful buildings and churches that I am coming to expect from Europe. I will post some of the grand views from Ronda from our last day in two weeks; for now I will limit myself to the street view images above and below:

Shades of Ronda. A bench and a tree cast shadows on a weathered wall in Ronda, Andalucía, Spain.

Ronda, being a cliff-top city, is nothing if not above ground. Not so Setenil de las Bodegas: the lowest portions of the town are half-swallowed in the maws of overhanging cliffs. Many buildings use the underside of the overhang as their ceiling. I suspect that the olive groves overhead help to reduce erosion when it rains; even so, it seems like the street below could devolve into a muddy mess in the wrong weather. But sloppy streets are benign compared with the obvious peril of the creek flooding below—after all, the reason those overhangs exist at all must be because raging floods in the past carved the rock away! A quick internet search made it clear that the town suffers fairly frequent flash floods (as recently as last year) but these streets have somehow managed to avoid being power-washed away. Ignoring the obvious hydrological foolishness of its location, the town is a fascinating sight both from above:

Eavening Time. A rock overhang shields the buildings and road below from the elements in Setenil de las Bodegas, Andalucía, Spain.

And below:

Setenil Subway. Overhanging rock reaches not only over the buildings on one side of the street, but over the street itself and part of the buildings on the other side, Setenil de las Bodegas, Andalucía, Spain.

Technical notes. The photographs in this post were taken with a Nikon Z7. The first two images (of Ronda) were taken with a Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S and the last two images (of Setenil) were taken with a NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S and a Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S. All were processed from RAW in Adobe Lightroom Classic.

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