Today we took a quick train ride to the ancient town of Toledo. I really didn't do much prep work on this town prior to leaving, Nancy at AAA just said it was a cool place and a short ride away.
Many religions/cultures left their mark here in Toledo. Easy to see the Arab, Jewish, Christian, Roman and even Visigothic elements. The most famous structure here is of course the Church which took over 2 1/2 centuries to complete and is built on top of a mosque. It was stunning and huge I want to say bigger than St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. Toledo is another little town lost in time. I had my map and ideas of where we should go but the narrow winding streets (most with no names) made it difficult to understand the map. Some streets were so short I wasn't sure it was even on a map. We settled into the idea of just wandering around. The buildings were so old and so adorned with balconies and carvings, each one different than the next. At every turn you were either on a street crammed with tourists or a street completely void of anyone. A few streets we walked down were obviously residential and the doors, my God the doors! Every building had huge heavy wooden doors ornately carved with huge hinges. Many of them had an obvious Moorish influence with many iron stars all over the doors. The few street signs we saw were made of colorful pottery tiles beautifully decorated around the name of the street. As Tom and I were walking down a deserted street We heard the sound of a car behind us but were sort of thinking this street wasn't wide enough for a car. (some streets barely fit two people walking side by side and the cobbled streets were almost worn out after over a millennium of use.). We turned around to see a small kind of van and look at each other wondering where to go to get out of the way. There was no cross street nearby and the buildings were solid hand cut rocks all the way up. We just pressed ourselves as close to the building as possible, sucked in our breath and hoped it was enough. You Know..... it would have been nice for the van to at least slow down and acknowledge that he decided to spare our lives....... but Noooo he probably does this 20 times a day and just barreled past us. Tom had a few choice words and then we headed out of that particular area.
This town reminded me a little of Avignon in France which is also a walled City. It was born of Religion and there are multiple churches,(some right next door to each other) seminaries and convents still in use. The one place we did not go see was the Torture Chambers popular during the Spanish Inquisition. Apparently there was a museum there I couldn't find but when I saw the sign for "Torture and Inquisition" I immediately wanted to do the inquisition dance from the Mel Brooks movies..... We are so glad to have come to Toledo wouldn't want to have missed it and would love to share it.
Tomorrow we are off to Seville... what a hoot.