Friday was a city-wide holiday in Madrid (can’t tell you what it was for though!), so we took advantage of the fact that everything in the city was closed to make a day trip to Toledo!
Toledo is a small city south of Madrid. It takes only 25 minutes (read: short nap time) to get there by train from the Atocha station and is very cheap. Toledo was one of the long-standing Moorish strongholds because it is fortunately surrounded on three sides by a river. The Moorish roots are very prevalent; the city is very reminiscent of Granada, Spain and Morocco where we visited last year. It has the snake-like skinny street that wind up and down the hills, little markets, and small cobblestone plazas full of tree-shaded restaurants.
Despite the 104 degrees Fahrenheit heat, we still managed to pack a lot into the eight hours we spent there. We visited the Catedral de Toledo, which is very beautiful. I hate to say it though, the more cathedrals I see in Spain, the more they all start to kind of look the same haha.
After the cathedral we walked around for a bit and then had lunch at one of the many plaza restaurants. The menu del dia was pretty good for 12 euro… Dan and I each got one and shared the courses, which was awesome! We had seafood paella, gazpacho, grilled chicken, and a Toleden speciality: pork in a red sauce of vegetables served with french fries. It was very delicious!!
With renewed strength (we were running on 5 hours of sleep afterall) we made our way down the hillside to La Casa del Greco. The museum commemorates the life and artwork of El Greco inside of an old Toledan style home, which is very similar to the ones El Greco rented and lived in while in Toledo. It was very interesting, and I like how you were able to learn about the artwork and the artist at the same time. To anyone visiting Toledo, I strongly suggest it … it’s also free with a university ID (win!)
After these two major stops, we also took some time to explore some of theother reasons Toledo is famous. We looked in a number of little market shops selling swords and knives, but of course didn’t buy any. I’m not really even sure why, but Toledo is famous for their swords and because of this, they are everywhere!! They also produce a lot of marzipan in the city. Marzipan is used in candies and sweets, and tastes like a sweet, candy-like dough. It’s very confusing to describe, but is actually pretty good!
Other than that, we spent most of the day walking around (read: sweating our brains out)… I drank 3 liters of water!! and exploring the city. It’s very small, which leant itself very well to just a day trip, but I would definitely go back again. There are many museums and sites to see!
More about the weekend to come soon! Ciao, amores:)