Toledo

On my final full day in Madrid Esther drove us to see Toledo, the medieval town that was the capital of Spain until 1560. We reached Toledo without too much trouble and walked up to the tourist information where we received a map and some guidance.

We started by walking around the Alcázar de Toledo admiring the building but also the views of the surrounding countryside. Then we continued towards the Cathedral through the charming narrow streets. Toledo is one of those places where, with a little imagination, one can be transported back to the middle ages. We considered entering the cathedral but the queue for tickets was very long so we decided to wait and see if we would feel like it later.

After passing the Cathedral we continued into the Jewish quarter. We walked around there happily for a while but then we began to feel hungry. A local pointed us in the direction of a small bar, where we had a meal that was somewhat too heavy for the weather.

After the meal we decided to escape the heat by visiting Toledo Cathedral. Unlike Almudena Cathedral in Madrid the Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo is an old cathedral, the construction having begun in 1226. The 8 Euro entrance free included a free audio guide so we spent the next 2 hours listening to the history of the cathedral and looking at its many splendours. As always when visiting such places I was torn between admiration for the beauty that surrounded me and disgust at the money spent by the church on such lavish furnishings.

After visiting the cathdral we walked around some more and eventually got lost while trying to find the Mosque of Cristo de la Luz, an old mosque built in 999. This was to be our last stop before returning to Madrid and we were on the point of giving up when a local pointed us in the right direction. After admiring the ancient building we found our way back to the car and drove to Madrid. Well, Esther drove and I had a nap.

Last evening in Madrid

After returning we rested for a little bit before heading into town. This time we went to Plaza Santa Ana where we ate some good pinchos at Lateral, a trendy and popular restaurant. Afterwards Esther took me for some delicious Sangria at Cuevas Sesamo. This old bar used to be a meeting place for writers and artists during the dictatorship of Franco and still has an artistic atmosphere with thought provoking quotes from artists and thinkers on the walls.

After the sangria it was time for me to say goodbye to Madrid, since I was leaving early the following day.

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