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Holy Toledo

rain 12 °C

Hi again everyone! As I said it got late on me the other night, so I'll pick up now telling about my little day trip to Toledo! Enjoy!

So last Saturday, I went with my friend Ross from Madrid to Toledo, a small town about twenty minutes by highspeed train south of Madrid. From the relatively new and regal-feeling Madrid, stepping off the train and toward the town felt like stepping back in time. The town of Toledo was actually the capital of Spain before it was moved in the 1500s to Madrid. As such, there is a royal palace, called the Alcazar, which dominates the skyline of Toledo. After the capital was moved to Madrid, the Alcazar was used as a military training facility for the King's army. As such, they had an armorer on site in the town to provide the army with weapons, and the biggest remaining vestige of this time in Toledo is actually the steel-workers that still ply their trade in the town. In each of the souvenir shops the number of knives and swords and even full suits of armor outweighed the number of postcards. I almost bought a suit of armor, and then realized I'd probably have to wear it on the flight home, which probably wouldn't be comfortable. Plus they were running around 3,000 Euros. Oh well.


Today, the Alcazar is neither a royal palace nor a military training ground, instead housing now the national armament museum. Ross and I spent a hugely long time wandering around the halls looking at the impressive array of swords, guns, flags on display. There are a couple of photos on my flickr account, check it out! www.flickr.com/photos/douglasclift. (I also just got to post my photos from Tarragona as well, so certainly take a gander!)


After the Alcazar, we were getting hungry, so we wandered around a bit to find a good place for eats. Finding only relatively expensive shops along the main drag, we ducked up a side-street and ended up in a small cafe where the staff were eating their own lunch. We ended up both ordering Sopa Castellano, which was a tomato based soup with chunks of meat and veggies sunk to the bottom and a soggy slice of bread floating on top. Delicious. After lunch, we headed to the Cathedral, which is one of the largest in Spain. At some point, I am going to stop going to Cathedrals, since they all seriously run together at some point, but this one was a hit. Each cathedral I see has its own individual tweaks, and the highlight of this one was a cavernous space in the ceiling behind the altar that sheds an ephemeral light down on a wall with stunning figures and brass-work. Unfortunately it was too dark for photos, so you'll have to take my word on its magnificence.

After the Cathedral, we were getting close to leaving time, and a slow drizzle had begun to fall, but we walked around the city a bit more, taking in the winding cobblestone streets and the sudden tranquility that arrived with the falling darkness and the drizzle. I got a few cool photos through the mist, too, so remember to take a look on flickr!


That wraps up Toledo! Hope everyone is doing well back home! Look out this week for some more about Barcelona-- now that the US elections are over, the people of Catalonia are taking to the poles in what amounts to a huge referendum on independence. Will I be applying for a visa in a new country before I leave? Who knows?

Hasta luego!!

Posted by dclift 21:20 Archived in Spain

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