Spring 2014 - France and Spain travel blog

Entry gate to Toledo - it is bounded by hills on one...

Inside the "Church of the Light" - originally mosque, it is now...

The original mosque was only 8 meters x 8 meters before the...

This Cathedral was built where a mosque had been which was built...

Area behind the choir - the columns used were from an old...

This gate was closed to the central sanctuary.

Looking through the gate. This is the altar.

This is the choir gated off, too. None of the other churches...

This church had a bunch of El Greco paintings. He spent his...

Paintings of each of the 12 disciples by El Greco are hanging...

One of the side entrances to the cathedral.

Another of the 12 disciples.

An architect requested and was granted permission to add a sky light...

He wanted to light this Baroque sculpture which is behind the main...

Looking across the river over to the hills surrounding Toledo. Toledo itself...

This "White Church" had once been a synogogue.

Ceiling of the synogogue/church.


Unfortunately for Toledo it was the last in a long series of quaint walled cities I have seen in the past two months. It was also a very similar day trip to the one I took to Cordoba last week - discussing the three cultures that had lived together - maybe not in harmony but able to get along - until Isabella and Ferdinand kicked out the Muslims and the Jews. Cordoba had a much more interesting mosque/cathedral to see and neither had much of a synagogue to look at - it had been too converted to a church.

The one highlight of the day was having lunch in an old converted "summer house". These houses were constructed by the elite in Toledo to retreat to when the city got too hot in the summer - up in the hills these summer homes caught the breezes and were much more comfortable. Now these houses are too large to maintain so the owners have resorted to turning them into a restaurant or hotels.

I was put at a table with 3 couples - all of which spoke only Spanish. So not only was I the 7th wheel but I couldn't speak to anyone. These people went out of their way to be friendly to me. It turns out they were from Central America - Guatemala. They were spending 3 days in Madrid, 3 days in Paris and then going on a seven day cruise to the Greek Islands. I told them what I had done over the past 7 weeks. I found out they loved baseball and regularly watched the Yankees. Another of the couples were Dodgers fans. I told them I was an Indians fan and they laughed - Cleveland is a joke all over the world. Don't ask me how we had all that conversation but we managed it without a common language. They wanted to do a toast at the end and I had drunk all my Coke and water and one of the old men poured about half of his wine in his glass into mine and we all toasted goodbye. That is the best part of traveling.



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