A Trip To Toledo

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It’s been pretty hectic since I moved to Madrid back in July. So much so that I’ve barely had time to scratch the surface on all the touristy things to do here, but this didn’t stop me from escaping to Toledo for the day recently for an excuse to act like my camera is surgically attached to my face. Toledo is really great and absolutely beautiful. I could bore you with all the details of why it’s such an amazing city, but you can probably just find all that on Google. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t flood you with a bunch of the pictures I took and things that we did (which wasn’t a lot). This is my blog and I can be self-absorbed if I want to.

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The day was off to a bit of a rocky start, because I guess no one was put in charge of finding out when the train was… so we all showed up at the station at 10:30 only to discover that the next train wasn’t until 12:20. We had a bit of a hassle trying to get our tickets, but technological mishaps and language barriers aside we soon had all eight tickets purchased and an hour to kill. Luckily for us, Atocha Renfe is the coolest train station in the world (with the best toilets I’ve used in Spain) and it had a whole shopping centre and jungle inside of it. The turtle pool was definitely one of my highlights of the day, and I was greatly invested in a fight between two of them (they fight dirty) and the great struggle for one of them to pull itself over the ramp. But alas, I then had to, y’know, actually get on the train. Ughhh, travelling and going cool places? Did I not mention the TURTLES? The train itself was really cool and fast, and in thirty minutes we were pulling up in Toledo. It’s amazing how travelling such a short distance can take you from somewhere as big and busy as Madrid to something so… Toledo-ey.

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After getting lost on our way from the station, we finally found our way to the centre of Toledo. The walk there was all uphill and I thought I was going to die, but I managed it because I knew soon there would be tinto. After a few tourist-y snaps we found somewhere to grab food, which was okay, but there was tuna in my salad despite being assured it was vegetarian by the waiter. I’ll never understand why this country doesn’t think fish is meat. But I digress, that’s a whole other blogpost. After food (and my beloved tinto) we headed deeper into the labyrinth of the city in search of the cathedral… which was apparently closed, but I did take some pictures from the outside. So mission 50% accomplished I guess? After the cathedral we walked around a bit more and battled with the map a few times. I think we were heading to some place in particular, but mainly I was just along for the ride. We found another bar to refuel (no tinto this time, just water) and the tone was kind of lowered by a hen party waving around a giant inflatable naked man. I know it’s the City of Tolerance, but I’m far less likely to be tolerant if you’re shoving a blowup penis in some poor old lady’s face.

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I think my order of events of the day is completely wrong. I know we found our way into some sort of… church thing? And then we thought we found the synagogue but it turns out it was just another, even bigger, church thing. We finally did find the synagogue but we got there just as it was closing. I’m really not sure how we managed to spend like eight hours doing absolutely nothing, but I guess it’s kind of an achievement. On the way back to the station we got lost again, and had a disagreement over which was the right way, leading to the group splitting in two– but both groups got back okay so I guess it all worked out. Don’t fight a hungry and tired Rosy, it doesn’t end well. After the train got back to Madrid I got off the Metro a few stops early so I could get a burrito– which turned out to be one of the most amazing things I’ve eaten in Madrid, no, my whole life— which was the perfect end to a brilliant day. Then I caught up with Coronation Street in bed, just to remind myself that I’m actually English and one day I’m gonna have to go back to rain and grey skies for good. Bleeeh.

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Another trip to Toledo is definitely in order– possibly with a little more structure next time. I am determined to see this synagogue because I’ve never been in one before, and when I was supposed to go on a school trip to visit one, I had to go and throw up the night before. It’s been about fifteen years and I’m still bitter about it. I’m also dying (get it? dying? ahahaaa) to see the Museum of Torture because, well… have you met me before? All in all, Toledo was great and I definitely recommend a visit if you’re in the area. For €20 it was a really amazing day out.

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And of course, of all the history, of all the culture, of all the amazing things we saw today– seeing these two babies was possibly my favourite. Hold me, Sandor.

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Author: Rosanna Parrish

Brit exiled in Spain.

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