Friday, 6 July 2012, Toledo
We’ve been 2 nights in Toledo, and honestly I could spend another day or two here. Not so much for the sights but just because it is beautiful and interesting and there are so many gorgeous open spaces to explore.
There are so many parks, and walking/biking trails, and having the river right here makes for some very interesting birding. And I am just beside myself that I didn’t bring my small binoculars – I mean how in the world could I have forgotten them?
Toledo is hilly, everything is either uphill or downhill, and in some places where it’s just too darn steep there are stairs, lots n lots of stairs.
The arquitecture here is an interesting mix and we are seeing now a much stronger Moor influence than in Madrid. In fact yesterday we walked to the train station to pick up tickets for part of todays travel, and for travel tomorrow as well. The train station is amazing, and quite moorish. Although it is fairly recent, this station was built in 1916 over what was an older station.
We stayed at the Hostal Puerta de Bisagra, it is another economy room, but perfectly adequate, and the location is great, it is right inside the historic walls, within view of the Bisagra Gate old city entrance. On the other side of the Gate is the ‘regular’ part of town, and I’ve been enjoying very much that this is where more locals hang out.
I am still amazed at how expensive things are and wonder at the disposable income it must take to survive. I have no clue what housing, utilities, taxes, and insurance cost.
The sights – we’ve been to the museums of santo tomè, and de la cruz, we went in to the Catedral, and of course the Alcazar and its museum to war. We walked many narrow walkways and ducked in to any number of shops and sights.
We just pulled out on the 7:15am bus to Ciudad Real, from there we transfer to a train to Granada. Once in Granada we drop our bags at the hotel and race to our 4pm checkin at the Alhambra.
Making these arrangements for seeing Granada, Cordoba, and Seville have been tiresome. The connections are tricky. The easiest would have been a tour encompassing all three in and out of Madrid. I tried to arrange one of these tours through Viator.com, but every email I sent took several days to get a reply, then there was inevitably another question. Their internet tour description is not terribly thorough. Anyway, add to that I was struggling to set an itinerary that created a flow of all the places we want to go. You really need to plan on basing out of Madrid.