US Ambassador to Spain Alan Solomont yesterday visited Ronda, a month after First Lady Michelle Obama and daughter Sasha toured the city, and followed a similar route Mrs Obama had done, though with the inclusion of the Palacio Mondragon.
Ronda’s mayor Antonio Marin Lara quoted the Ambassador as saying that Michelle Obama was so impressed with Ronda she will be returning, “and not alone”, thus alluding to a possible presidential visit during Mr Obama’s time in the White House.
The number of American tourists discovering Ronda for the first time has sharply increased, with the mayor and Councillor for Tourism Francisco Cañestro both commenting the tourist offices are reporting more Americans than the city has seen for many years.
Local hotels are also noticing an increase in Americans, with most hotels and private homes fully booked during the recent feria, but also for the previous weeks immediately after the visit of Michelle Obama in Ronda.
If as the mayor has implied, Mr Solomont’s visit was a fact finding mission in anticipation of a presidential visit, then Ronda could literally experience an explosion of Americans in our small city.
President Barack Obama is known to be a deeply spiritual man, with Michelle overheard telling Father Salvador Guerrero of the Santa Maria Church that President Obama keeps an image of the Virgen Mary in his pocket, and that a visit to the church would be a highlight for the president.
Please watch our Michelle Obama walk around Ronda, just as the First Lady’s party did.