Toledo

It seems days ago that I was writing about being in the pointy end of the plane on my way to Toledo and just starting writing about this new adventure. Well it was days ago, 3 in fact. This was a return visit for me as last year I went on a day trip with Val and she pretended she knew her way around this maze of a town. Just to remind you, she didn’t and everytime she said “now we just go down here and then round to the right. Oh, we are not where I thought I was” and then consulted her GPS which was staring to get angry about having to recalibrate continuously. 
Times have changed. Val has since been back again since that trip last year and when we arrived this time we only got lost once on the way to our little pink house as we only took a wrong turn despite using the GPS. This did not happen again. Not once over the three days did I hear “Oh, we’re not where I thought we were.” Even I was able to navigate my way round the maze having had the time this time to get my bearings. I lead us up and down hills although I must confess I did lead us up a couple of blind alleys on occasion. The difference between me and Val last time was at least I didn’t pretend to know the way 😉.

Toledo is a fascinating medieval little town perched on a hill and surrounded on three sides by the Taji River. It has a city wall and impressive gates in which to enter the town. From the river to the town its a nasty steep hike up a short steep hill. Located in this town are more churches than you could imagine. Knives, swords and armour are plentiful and in truth you could probably kit out all the extras of the Lord of the Rings (which I suspect actually happened given the way LoR is marketed in these shops). Toledo also seems to treasure it’s Jewish history as it has one of most important Jewish synagogues in Spain dating back to the time when Toledo was the capitol of Spain.  

So what did I do whilst there. Well I had the same problem in Toledo that I did in Venice. It rained. And after the sun and beautiful warmth of Rome, it was not at all pleasant. What would you do in that situation? If you said stay inside where it’s warm – correct answer. But there comes a time when you decide you are visiting another place and you can’t stay inside being a couch potato all the time. You have to go out and walk. A nice walk to do is down to the river, cross one of the bridges and head up the hill to look back to the town which really is well worth the effort, especially if you are lucky enough to catch the sunrise.

 The Alcazar really dominates the skyline even over the Cathedral in the middle of the town. 

  
Walking around the streets in the rain isn’t too much fun especially after a while. Churches offer good respite for a small fee. We went to many of them -some big some small. The Jesuit Cathedral was a pleasant surprise as it was possible to go up to the bell tower and look out over the town. Note the sexy new Leppard print umbrella that was a purchase of necessity.

  

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