Monday, November 10, 2008

Day trip to Toledo from Madrid . . .

Today was the first time that I took the Metro in Madrid. I totally forgot how fast everything moves down there. Thankfully, a helpful local taught me that my line was number 1 and helped me to purchase my ticket at $1 Euro, then another local helped me find my correct platform because of course I was originally following the flow which lead me to the wrong platform going in the wrong direction. I ran over to the other side and just to make sure I was on the right platform this time I asked what I thought was a local. She was a student from the US and she was happy to confirm that I was on the right platform and she told me not to worry everyone gets a little lost the first time. She then went over how to read the map (that helped me when I returned from Toledo and had to take the Metro back) and then she told me to get off on Atocha Renfe. I have one more thing to say on the topic of transportation here in Spain, their high speed AVE trains are fantastic. It is so smooth, fast, clean and so well organized. I was very impressed.

Toledo for some reason has been on my mind to visit ever since I first started planning my trip. There was just something about this town that I found interesting. Anne told me her mother really loved Toledo when she visited earlier in the year and I also read some positive things about the town on Tom&Judy's blog, Papillon. And it's cool to here that it's one of Marta's favorite in Spain also! And now you can add me to the long list of Travlers who are and have become fans of Toledo.

Toledo is a City that is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is full of churches. I had read before I left that Toledo was known as the “city of three cultures” because of the coexistence through the centuries of Christians, Muslims and Jews. And I saw some of the architectural influences from this coexistence. The town is perched high on a rock and is surrounded on three sides by the Tagus River which makes it a great photo opp for someone like me! The old City Center is almost a maze of narrow cobbled streets, alleys that go up and down and never stays flat anywhere. So if you were to take the wrong turn (which I did several times) you just might have to walk up several hills before reaching your destination. I saw at times the same tourists holding their maps and looking for the correct street signs to find their next must see sight. I went on instincts and visuals,which is why I got lost! But just like in Venice, Italy . . . I took these small pockets of time to just find something interesting (which you’ll notice in my photo selections).

I was able to visit a couple of churches and the main thing I really wanted to see was the Synagogue Santa Maria La Blanca. You weren’t allowed to take photos inside but I can tell you that the photos listed on websites do not do it justice. It is incredible to see. The detailed designs really have a mixture of influences.

I loved Toledo but one day is just not enough time to really see everything here. I would say a possible overnight trip would allow you to hopefully see most of what Toledo has to offer. It really is quite a beautiful town and I can see why everyone really loves it here.

Well I will have to cut my post a little short this evening as it is the last night in Mardrid and I can hear one of those famous tapas bars calling my name. Just one more for the road . . . I can sleep in tomorrow as I already bought my train ticket to Sevilla and it doesn’t leave until 12:00 noon, am I a smart traveler or what! :)

Oh I almost forgot, since my apartment in Sevilla does not have Wi-Fi it may be a couple of days before my next post! I hope to find that internet cafe that Maria recommended and then I can hopefully fill you in on what's been happening in Sevilla. I'm so excited to be visiting Andalusia. And my first Flamenco show . . .

Isn't he/she the cutest thing. I crashed into this local walking his little dog on one of my lost episode. So I took a little break to play with the little guy!

Cool evening shot of Puerta del Sol!


  1. I'm so glad to hear that you also liked Toledo. We stayed 2 nights at the Parador which is out of town and across the river. The view is similar to your first picture.

    And I didn't mention how easy it is to get lost on purpose. :) We got so lost there one night. I wanted to see if it was just us. It's good to know that it is easy city to get lost in.

    Next time you should spend a night. To me the most magical time was at night. The lights, the crowds, the smells from the restaurants. Venice is a great comparison.

    Have a great trip to Seville and I hope you find a cafe to keep us posted.

  2. Sounds like a great day-trip Kathy. Love your photos and oh my gosh, that is the most precious dog!!! I can't get over how sweet he/she is!

    Hope that your trip to Sevilla was very easy and smooth; looking forward to the next update. Have fun!

  3. Hi Kathy,

    Happy to hear you enjoyed Toledo. It sounds like a wonderful place to visit. Too bad you didn't have more time there.

    I hope you had a great last night in Madrid!! Can't wait to hear about Sevilla!


  4. Toledo looks so beautiful, and sounds fascinating.

    And what an adorable little mutt! She's really posing perfectly for the camera.

  5. The synagogue looks spectacular. I've only been inside two synagogues in Venice and they were small, dark and somber but this one, in the Mudejar style, is gorgeous.

    The puppy stole my heart. So cute and adorable!

  6. Hi Maria, thanks for your comments. I got so lost looking for this synagogue and nearly gave up looking for it (since I was running out of time before my train left), but I am so glad I didn't give up and eventually found it. They have these amazing sketches and artwork as well inside which was very interesting.

    I agree that little puppy was so cute I just had to snap his photo and play with him a little before I moved on . . .

    Thanks again Maria.


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.