Spain Adventures travel blog

Day tripping to Toledo! Some say that's where the saying "Holy Toledo" comes from. We took the 9:30 a.m. AVE to the tiny medieval town to celebrate Corpus Christi (a holy celebration perhaps second to Easter that is a yearly event since the year 1200). The priest also blesses the city for a prosperous year. I never heard of it before and did not know what to expect. This is hard to explain as you really can't imagine the sight. It starts with 10:00 mass- but if you don't go to the mass you line up along the parade route along the (skinny) streets, no more than 8 ft wide. We found a great spot to stand in the shade and waited until the parade started after mass. People were on their balconies viewing from above Actually they were so close we could reach up and shake their hands. The guy standing next to us gave us (really Mirta) a full explanation of what was about to happen- starting with the horses. Can you imagine horses on this narrow path? That's to push the people back to allow room for all the monks, priests, women (in full Spanish garb), men's organizations, similar to the Knights of Columbus, all whom are processing. Every 7 year old in the town makes their Communion during this feast and also in the parade. Then at last the Monstrance (sp) is upon us and I never quite saw anything like it before. It stands about 8-10 ft high and sits on a wagon type cart with fresh flowers around it. We think it symbolizes the Holy Eurcharist. As it passes people throw rose pedals, from their balcony. The entire event was about 4 hours long including the waiting time. Between us we took about 100 pictures. Starving, we walked to Plaza Zocodover, the main square, for lunch, paella and salad/ bread. Up anf down the winding streets to the Santa Cruz Museum (originally an orphanage then a hospital now a museum) has 15 El Greco paintings. We both agreed, not nearly as good as his later works hanging in the Prado. One art tour later we think we are art aficionados. Before heading back to train station (this is now 9:30 pm) we stopped for a refreshing horchata, (rice water) to wet our whistles. Another full day.

Fun Facts:

Every one in the town is either in the parade or is watching the parade (and glad to be there).

Sunset is at 10:00 pm.

It stays light until 10:30 pm.

It takes a lot of coordination to walk in stilettos on the cobble stone streets.

I can't say the food has been particularly great - but the paella, wine and olives are good.

Every night is a Friday night then on Friday it's really FRIDAY night.

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