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Posted by on Apr 9, 2012 in Europe, Spain

Toledo: a city made to be wandered aimlessly

Toledo: a city made to be wandered aimlessly

Toledo is a walkers paradise. The cobblestone roads are winding and the beauty is endless. Walk in any direction within the old city walls and you are amazing by beautiful architecture, stunning views of the hilly Spanish surroundings, and the sound of accordions playing in the distance. This is a beautiful place.

During my 5 days in Madrid, I decided to take day trips to the surrounding cities to get my castle fix. I couldn’t possibly come to Spain and NOT see something REALLY OLD could I? Sure, Madrid has some pretty old things – but Toledo is something all-together different; With a massive Cathedral perched atop a hill and the rest of the city cascading down around it – it is the definition of picturesque.

Toledo is also really close to Madrid, so with a €4, one hour bus ride from Plaza Eliptica Metro station, I made it to Toledo hassle free.

 

I did not have a map nor did I want one. I walked outside the bus terminal and I could see a beautiful building perched atop the city – I headed in that general direction. With endlessly twisting streets – it is a general direction; no paths are ever straight here. I would find a clearing, put my eyes to the sky, spot a turret, and start walking towards it. This method proved affective.

Within 10 minutes I made it to the Alcazar. Along with the HUNDREDS of other tourists, I busted out my camera and started going snap happy. Me with my canon point and shoot next to professional cameras always makes me feel a little inadequate. Like I am not meeting proper tourist equipment etiquette or dress code. But it doesn’t matter – we all had smiles and everybody was great with NOT standing in front of another persons camera. Much appreciated.

Next I wanted to make my way to the cathedral. Toledo provides maps on all vending machines, so I took a gander. Ok, I was next to the Museum and the Alcazar was to my right, so I needed to head South. Ok, turn around and start marching. I walked in a circle and ended up back in the plaza I had JUST exited. Ok; Chrystal direction fail. Next attempt – walk North, maybe I can’t read maps correctly (True: I must flip them up according to which direction I am facing not which direction is North).

  

Second attempt proved useless for my cathedral finding purpose but useful for getting away from tourists and into local backyards. Some locals stopped and asked if I was lost – I said not any more. I liked this part of Toledo. They asked me if I wanted wine – I obliged and shared a glass of wine with some locals.

  

After the glass, I figured I should continue my pursuit of the Cathedral, asked which way up the road, they pointed me back in the direction I came. They said there would be a sign. There was. Apparently I am blinded by the cities beauty.

I finally made it to the Cathedral and BOY is it EVER a Cathedral!

 

I cannot think of a BETTER way to spend ANY day than wandering aimlessly in beautifully old city.

5 Comments

  1. Hi Chrystal, It is a lovely place to wander. We also walked there, but from the train station.
    We did an audio tour of the cathedral, but preferred getting lost exploring the alleys. I have fond memories and enjoyed your photos. It is wonderful how many different views there are to the same place.

    • I opted against that audio tour – I prefer letting the place speak to me on its own. I miss the history, but I typically read up on that myself. The city is beautiful and I could spend days getting lost and never get bored.

  2. I loved Toledo when I went there.. Such a nice change from Madrid! I particularly liked the outdoor escalators that took people up to the city centre on the hill! Did you try any marzipan whilst you were there?

    Great photos by the way – really striking :)

    • I don’t think I saw those escalators – that would of saved me the climb a few times. But I don’t think it would of been as fun. Are they famous for marzipan? I didn’t try any! Now I’ll HAVE to go back!

      • Yes, I didn’t notice the escalators until I was on my way down – probably would have been more useful on the way up (although maybe not as fun – or as rewarding when you emerge at the top!) Apparently Toledo is famous for its marzipan. I didn’t know this until just before I arrived but there are so many little marzipan shops throughout the city. I definitely left with a few less teeth I think!

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