Historic Toledo

After three days in Salamanca we were bound for Toledo. The first part of the journey was fast. The AVE train sometimes reaching nearly 300 kms/hour. We flashed by the countryside, most of which was pretty dry looking.

Occasionally we passed some awesome looking old towns. This one is Avíla.

In Madrid we changed from Chamartin station in the north to Atocha in the south via local train and then we were on our way again. Our 30 minute trip took only 23 minutes. Our driver certainly liked going fast! Right from the start we could feel history in Toledo. Even the station ceiling was impressive architecturally.

Our entry into the town was via this bridge and gate.

Our walk to the old town saw us become a bit lost but made it. Our hostess Pepa was very welcoming and a font of information about her town’s historic sites and restaurants. We even had views from the apartment balcony.

Once we had settled in we headed off and explored. The huge cathedral is opposite the Tourist Information Centre with its helpful staff and reflection pond.

Dined at a restaurant that Pepa recommended – El Trebol. Ate a local speciality, carcamusas, a delicious veal casserole as well as a serving of black pudding and bacon. Local beer was good too.

Back at our apartment we enjoyed the night view of the cathedral tower and the moon rising over the Alcazar.

The next morning we started off wandering through the lanes of old Jewish Quarter.

After a while we came to the El Greco museum and gardens. Some wonderful paintings in here although some of his best are in other art galleries around the world.

Really liked the gardens too.

Continued to wander the maze of lanes until lunch, which we prepared back in our apartment.

After lunch we made our way to the cathedral, hoping to have avoided most of the morning tourist bus loads. Shouldn’t have worried as it was massive inside. Using our informative audio guides we made our way around. Of special note was the large mural of St Christopher, the travellers’ saint,

the gilded altar,

the amazing ceiling grotto,

paintings and exquisite artefacts,

carvings and

the choir stalls.

Having been inside for so long we headed down and out to a couple of the old town gates.

Sadly from there it was all uphill back into the town.

Again after dinner, which we ate at El Nuevo Almacen, we wandered around some more. The view at the cathedral was well worth the extra walk downhill and then back up to the apartment. Beautifully floodlit.

Toledo had definitely lived up to expectations for us. Here is a photo of the town, as we made our way back to the train station the following morning, to finish our time there.

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