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    • Day 22


      October 15 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 23 °C

      We walked to the Madrid train station (see the lovely boulevard in Madrid) this morning and traveled to Toledo - a 35 minute trip. Toledo has a cool train station albeit small.

      Toledo is a medieval walled city and originally the capital of Spain - named a unesco world heritage site in the 80s - with Arab, Jewish and Christian monuments. It also has a massive military history museum.

      Home to manchego cheese production there's even a tiny museum sharing it's history and production process.

      For lunch we had what is called a manchego sheet (with a sheet of manchego melted and hardened hung on clothes pins and served with guacamole) and pork cheeka with a manchego sauce.

      We visited the cathedral and the ancient synagogue as well.

      On the way out of town we spotted a cool monument to the people who worked to keep citizens safe during covid.

      Oh and Mom, they have an entire store devoted to Lladros.
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    • Day 211

      Holy Toledo! We're in... Toledo, Spain

      December 5, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

      Toledo is known as a religious capital of Spain and has more than 2,000 years of history – it has seen numerous cultures and dynasties walking through its walls. Originally established by the Romans because if its advantageous geography. It is surrounded on the west and south by a steep gorge, it was further fortified by ancient Roman walls. For centuries, the Romans, Jews, Moors and Christians have lived here and left their mark on the old town. First the Romans in 200BC followed by the Moors and then later the Christians. It has been Spains historical capital since the medieval times when it moved to Madrid in the 16th century. From there it was left forgotten and considered a backwater of Madrid for hundreds of years until the Spanish War in the 20th century. From there residents leveraged the large city walls as their defense. Toledo is famous as a city of three cultures and a world cultural heritage site. It’s one of the oldest and perhaps one of the most unique cities in Spain. Toledo is a UNESCO city, a historical gem of Spanish Andalusia and a real jem of Spain. It’s one of the popular day trips from Madrid – a journey takes only 30 minutes by train.

      Dave and I opted to do just that from Madrid and spent a full day in Toldeo along with a guided tour of some of Toledos most famous and historical sights.

      Toledo also has the 4th largest Cathedral in the world. So look for those pictures. Our tour guide also told us it is the 2nd most important Catholic city in the world (after the Vatican, I assume). Old Town Toledo was largely developed by the Moors. A hallmark of Moorish cities is narrow winding streets with high buildings so attacking armies would get lost. You had to know the city well to get around. Thankfully we had Google maps, but our GPS had some trouble piecing the streets as well.

      Toledo is also known for swords? Apparently Toledo makes many movie swords. Spanish swords were traditionally made with steel which is lighter and Toledo still has the artisans to make them. Toledo supplied props for the LOTR movies and many sword shops boasted souvenirs from the movies.

      Interestingly one of the places we visited was a synagogue. It was originally built by the Moors. It was interesting because the Moors didn't seem to know how to make a synagogue, so the interior looks like a Mosque (see pictures) There used to be 12 synagogues in Toledo, but after the inquisition there are only 2 and 4 registered Jewish people left in Toledo.

      Our tour guide told us the Cathedral of Toledo is the 4th biggest in the world. Not only is it huge, but it had a very different layout than any other cathedral. Seating seemed quite limited for its size. Rather than posting the hundred to so of pictures we took, I did a video walk through. It took me about six minutes to do a simple loop around the main portion. This didn't include any of the side rooms, but there was still a lot to see. I think this was a top 3 cathedral we've been to.
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    • Day 56

      Tag 56 - Tagesausflug nach Toledo

      October 29, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

      Heute Morgen haben wir zuhause wieder gemeinsam gefrühstückt. Nach dem Frühstück ging ich mit meinem Götti zum dominikanischen Friseur, bei welchem ich jetzt bereits auch schon zwei Mal war. Während er beim Friseur sass, ging ich noch in einen Laden nebenan und machte eine Kopie vom Schlüssel der Wohnung, da wir bis jetzt nur noch einen Schlüssel hatten. Als seine Haare geschnitten waren, gingen wir zurück zur Wohnung, wo bereits die anderen auf uns warteten. Mit dem Mietauto machten wir uns auf den Weg nach Toledo. Auf dem Weg nach Toledo machten wir noch einen Zwischenhalt in Anover de Tajo, einem kleinen Dorf, bei welchem meinen Grossvater beerdigt ist. Wir besuchten das Grab von meinem Grossvater und putzten es. Danach besuchten wir noch eine Cousine meiner Mutter, die nur ein paar Strassen vom Friedhof im selben Dorf lebt. Immer wenn wir in den letzten Jahren als Familie nach Madrid kamen, haben wir einen solchen Tagesausflug gemacht, und nachdem wir jetzt drei Jahre nicht nach Madrid kommen konnten, zumindest meine Eltern nicht, konnten wir auch wieder mal meinen Grossvater besuchen. In Toledo angekommen, sind wir direkt ins «Mirador», einem Aussichtspunkt mit Restaurant, dort haben wir etwas gegessen. Wir liefen durch die Gassen und Strassen und besuchten so zu Fuss Toledo. Einen Tagesausflug nach Toledo lohnt sich auf jeden Fall, falls ihr also mal ein paar Tage in Madrid verbringt, müsst ihr unbedingt mit einem Mietauto oder auch mit dem Car nach Toledo fahren und da Toledo auch eine sehr kleine Stadt ist, reicht einen Tagesausflug längstens aus. Wir waren alle ziemlich müde, so dass wir wieder zurück nach Madrid fuhren. In der Wohnung in Madrid, schauten wir im Fernsehen ein Fussballspiel und machten uns wieder bereit für das Abendessen. Mit dem Taxi fuhren wir ins Zentrum und fanden ein kleines antikes spanisches Restaurant, bei dem wir ziemlich viele verschiedene Tapas genossen. Um das viele Essen zu verdauen, machten wir wieder einen kleinen Spaziergang durchs Zentrum.Read more

    • Day 1–3

      Toledo Tag 1

      September 23 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      Unsere Reise ging nach Madrid und mit dem Auto direkt nach Toledo.
      In diesem wunderschönen Ort haben wir eine sehr schöne Wohnung in der Altstadt. Die Altstadt ist sehr gut erhalten und besitzt viel Charme und tolle Sehenswürdigkeiten.Read more

    • Day 232


      February 28, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

      We drive from Granja towards Toledo, passing through the outskirts of Madrid. When I see the Spanish capital from this perspective I realise how enormous it is . There are lots of skyscrapers, none of which we saw when we were there a few days ago.
      An hour later we see the city of Toledo, perched on hill overlooking the river Tagus, the same river Tagus flows out into the Atlantic from Lisbon. We park at the foot of the hill by the bus station and taxi the rest of the way to our accommodation in centre. The taxi beeps the pedestrians out of the way and speeds up and down narrow streets following a complicated one way system. I’m so glad I’m not driving.

      We climb the spiral stairs and take a moment to settle into the apartment. Though tired, we summon the last shard of energy and go back out to get a feel for the town. We join the crowds in the streets below and hear music and it is coming our way. We have accidentally arrived at the right place and at the right time because here comes a parade full of music, dancing, costumes and a big papier-mâché fish! We have happened on the ‘burial of the Sardine’ and this parade is it’s funeral procession complete with mourners dressed up in black. This tradition is celebrated in lots of towns and city’s in Spain and it usual marks the end of Carnival and the beginning of Lent. The crowds follow after the parade and everyone is here for a good time. Long after we have returned to the apartment we hear the singing, music and fire works.
      Toledo Cathedral is so close to our apartment we can see it from the bedroom window. This is our first stop the next morning. We don’t take the audioguides as they have far too many details for our appetite. We just google our way around. My favourite bite-sized piece of the history is about the fire that burned down the market next door to the Cathedral. In the late 14th century the Bishop wanted to build an extension for a cloister. He was in negotiations with the stall holders to buy the Market site but they were reluctant to sell. A mysterious fire broke out and the stalls were destroyed. The bishop bought the site for very little and built the cloister he had always dreamed of . Funnily enough from that day to this no order of monks have ever been in residence there.
      At our next church stop, I decide to double check that we are in the right place before we go in so at the entrance I ask if there are some of El Greco’s paintings inside. The ticket clerk laughs and scoffs and says ‘El Greco painting?!!, This is his masterpiece - ‘the burial of Count of Orgaz’. Once inside it is easy to find because there are so many people standing below it and staring up in admiration. We join them.
      Later my ignorance induces more scoffing at a sword shop. I ask the shop keeper a question that has been on my mind since we arrived in Toledo- ‘ Why are there so many sword shops here’. He looks up from his glasses and tells me that Toledo steel is world famous- well I never knew … I decide to dig some more and ask him how recently this is. ‘Roman times’ he says as he shakes his head. I quickly buy a pen knife with ‘Toledo’ printed on it, thank him and go.
      We continue on my uninformed tour of Toledo and by the end of the day we think we have visited San Martin’s bridge, the Alcazar and the Jewish quarter, but I can’t be sure.
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    • Day 19

      Toledo, ein Stadtrundgang

      November 7 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

      Die spanischen Städte sind häufig sehr alt, aber gut erhalten. So viel Zustörung wie bei uns gab es hier offensichtlich nicht. In Toledo haben Juden, Moslems und Christen Jahrhunderte lang friedlich zusammen leben können. Das würde man sich so sehr für die heutige Zeit wünschen. In Spanien erleben wir, wie auch in Portugal, sehr viele freundliche Menschen. Heute wollten wir mit den Bus in die Stadt fahren, aber Tiere sind nicht erlaubt. Der Bus fuhr weg, plötzlich lautes rufen und hupen. Eine junge Frau hat uns dann mitgenommen, freundlich, zugewandt und in bester Laune. Ist das in Deutschland auch so selbstverständlich?
      Liebste Grüße von uns Dreien.
      Morgen geht es nach Saragossa.
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    • Day 26


      November 23, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

      Toledo wurde mir von einer guten Freundin empfohlen. Toledo liegt auf einem Hügel, umrahmt von einem Fluss und voller historischer Gebäude. Es ist wunderschön mit seinen schmalen, gepflasterten Gassen und versteckten Stiegen und Wegen.

      Obwohl das Wetter nicht ideal war, regnerisch und grau, kam am Nachmittag die Sonne heraus und ich hab sogar einen Regenbogen gesehen.

      ###### english ######

      Toledo was suggested to me by a good friend. Toledo is built on a hill, framed by a river and full of historic buildings. It is very beautiful with its narrow plastered streets and hidden pathways.

      Even though the weather was not ideal, rainy and grey, in the afternoon the sun came out and i even saw a rainbow.
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    • Day 102


      April 17 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      Leider gibt es nicht viel zu erzählen, denn Toledo hat mir nicht gefallen, die Aussenansichten von den Miradoren aus sind schon ganz schön, aber in der Stadt selbst nur Hunderte von asiatischen Besuchergruppen, da bin ich schnell weiter.Read more

    • Day 284


      November 1, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Toledo was Spain's capital until 1560 and
      one of the most important centers of medieval history. It is very popular amongst day trippers from Madrid! That's why we especially liked exploring the narrow streets and the beautifully lit medieval architecture at night while trying some local mazipan. The gothic cathedral was particularly impressive!Read more

    • Day 2

      Day 2: Toledo!

      May 8, 2022 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      Toledo day today.

      First off, I walked Katie to get her cab to take her to the airport. Our apartment is on a pedestrian street so the nearest place to get an Uber is about 2 blocks away.

      Then we took a tour to Toledo. It was a 45 minute bus ride. We had a lovely guide but could barley hear her so we took off on our own. Had a great meal first and explored the city. We saw a lovely old synagogue with moorish architecture and the cathedral and just wandered the streets.Read more

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