Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Trippin' for a day: Toledo

While we were staying in Madrid, with our wonderful friend MariaD, it was suggested to us by all the Madrileños (people from Madrid) that we do a day trip to Toledo, since it's so nearby.

It used to be the capital of Spain, aka Castile, in the 16th century, before the rulership of the day moved the capital to Madrid, which was in the middle of nowhere and made no sense, according to our Madrileño friend Jaime.

Visiting Toledo wasn't on our itinerary, but since everyone were saying we should go, how could we not go?!
Toledo!
We made good use of our EuRail ticket to get there cheaply - we had to pay a reservation fee (boo!) of EU 13, but saved EU 8.80 - why is the reservation fee such a large component of the price??

Everyone had told us that the city is small, so when we arrived, we walked from the station rather than take the bus. If you want to take the bus, get the blue government-run buses, not the more expensive red privately-run ones. They all go where we were headed towards, the main square of Toledo, Plaza de Zocodover.

We had beautiful weather, bright blue sky and about about 25 degrees, what a nice day!
The city is really nice - lots of tiny cobble-stone streets. Cars still drive on the majority of them, which surprised us (we had recently come from the medinas of Morocco where that's not really the case).

On the way in to the city, we crossed an old bridge, the Puente de Alcantara (seen in the photo above), where there were loads of birds darting all around, probably in search of insects to eat.

We reached the square, where apparently the Spanish Inquisition (whom nobody expects!) used to burn people at the stake...

Our self-guided tour, based on what we could remember from internet articles and our Lonely Planet Discover Europe book's two-page spread about Toledo, combined with the sights marked on our Google Maps, started with the Alcázar.


We saw the whole city - some parts several times over. Some of the sights were closed, but that's ok, we saw them from the outside.
Charming streets

We walked a lot!
Parts of our walk was in famous (fictional) footsteps
Not tilting at windmills..

View from the city

More cute streets
Enjoying España!
More nice views

We raced around, thinking we'd be short of time before we'd need to be back on the train to Madrid...

..and found that we'd seen all the sights and had plenty of time to spare.
What to do?

The solution to all problems!
Yep, we had a good day in Toledo!