Holy Toledo!

Hola!
It’s official: I love Spain. The food, the culture, the people, it’s all fantastic! Unlike Paris, where I felt out-of-place and intrusive, here in Madrid I feel like a welcomed guest. You smile at people, and they smile back!
Madrid is lively and sometimes chaotic, so a few hostel friends and my dear friend Pablo (from Madrid) took a day trip to Toledo: the old capital of Spain in the 6th century. It’s described as a medieval city, and yes, it is exactly what you imagine an old European city would look like.

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Te streets are tiny: some so tiny no car will fit down them, let alone be able to navigate the winding paths and sharp corners.
Toledo is a mere 25 minute trip on a high-speed train from Madrid, and only a 21 euro return ticket: well worth it! We walked 15 minutes from the station, up a steep-hill until we came to an entrance. The old city is contained behind a fortress wall, and looks more like a castle than a city from far away.

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We were immediately blown away by the old city streets. The main square was bustling with people, but the side paths were eerily quiet, and you almost felt like you were in a different time-period.

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Our first stop was the famous Catedral (above). We ventured into the free part of the building, deciding that paying 8 euros to look at an old church (filled with tourists) wasn’t worth it.

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Besides, we stumbled upon an old church and opted to go sit inside there instead. There was no one there, except for a quiet nun–observing us from afar. I have never been in a building so quiet.

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We walked through the streets, up steep stairways and then back down cobblestone hills. It was surreal. All I kept saying to myself was ‘I’m in Spain!’

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And of course we stopped for some food! First we sat at a quaint outdoor bar where we enjoyed cervaisas and tapas.

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How much do you think it was?

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Only 1 Euro each! Of course, we were still hungry, and had plenty of walking ahead of us, so we headed next door to the ‘Tavern’ and had a set menu for 11 euros: salad, cod fish, a glass of vino tinto (red wine) and a cafe con leche (coffee with milk) all for only 11 euro! Amazing! Our bellies full we continued to explore, and eventually came to rest in a small park.

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We finished our day of exploring by following a ‘parade’ of jazz musicians playing swing music. And yes, people were swim swing dancing!

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After grabbing some gelato we walked over the bridge and back to the train station where we sat around and played cards. It was the perfect way to end such an eventful day!
So, if you’re heading to Madrid, I highly recommend a day trip to Toledo. Inexpensive transportation cost (and quick) as well as relatively inexpensive food combined with old European charm make this one of my favourite destinations so far!
Next destination: Seville. Porto has proven to be a difficult city to access via train so I may not get to see it. Going to try Lisboa instead!

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9 thoughts on “Holy Toledo!

  1. ah….todavía me encanta Toledo.

    I love reading other people’s impressions of my favorite places. you’ve really captured it here and your pics are fabulous!! thanks for a lovely trip down memory lane as I am a frequent visitor of Toledo 😉 Spain is great, I’m glad you like it too.

    • Thanks for the reblog!! I’m happy you like the pictures and I’m glad my little description captured a small part of what Toledo is really like. 🙂 also I have taken your earlier advice and am heading to Seville this week!

  2. I enjoyed reading all about your day trip to Toledo. We are driving up to Toledo to stay for a couple of days, next week. Looks like we will have fun, especially stopping off at the Don Quixote windmills nearby !

    • I’m sure you will love it! When you wander through small walkways you are sure to find random treasures and amazing views. I couldn’t get enough of the European charm.

  3. Toledo’s on my list! Not so easy from my Algarve base, but maybe one day. Shame about Porto. I’m headed there next Thursday. You’re sure to love Sevilla- it’s beautiful. Easy enough to head for Tavira in the Algarve from there. You’d love the island beach. It’s so fun taking a ferry to the beach. And after you’ve been laid back, Lisbon’s a beautiful city. If you get up that way, don’t miss Sintra!

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