We all need a break every now and then.
And what a better way to do just that, than treating your better half to a much deserved getaway. You should only be settling for the best when it comes to your loved ones, therefore you have to look for the perfect location. Toledo proves to be just that.
Situated on a hill just above the plains of Castilla La Mancha in central Spain, this ancient city contains a vast mixture of Christian, Jewish and Arab monuments, bearing witness of the different cultural influences throughout the decades. Without even trying to write a guide, I shall share my experience of what proved to be a fascinating visit to Toledo.
Our journey starts at the local bus station (exiting as always…), which is only 50 minutes from Madrid on the direct service. Wanting to get to the central part of the city, we climb up the steep streets of the hill, only to realise afterwards that there was a more effortless way to the top. As my better half would say, I needed the cardio anyway.
After obtaining a map from the local information office, near Plaza Zocodover, we quickly map up a route. First is the Alcazar fortress, which you can reach through the Museo del Ejército. We bare witness to a remarkable collection of steel weapons and armours, as well as various uniforms and documents of the Spanish army.
We head to Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada de Toledo. The Cathedral’s sheer size is more than enough to impress you. Due to the never ending queue to get in, we decide to hang around Plaza de Ayuntamiento and take a few pictures instead.
Hungry from the impromptu photoshoot we decide to go towards Mercado de San Agustin. “A relative” of the famous Mercado de San Miguel in Madrid, the five storey market contains a wide variety of foods, each one more appealing than the other. We decide to indulge into the outstanding offerings of the Tapas Bar. Well fed and happy, we made a move.
Museo del Greco’s short working hours, did not diminish our spirits, as we lose ourselves in the stunning views along the Rio Tajo. Another photo session later, we venture into the Jewish Quarter, passing the Sinagoga del Transito, famous for it’s rich stucco decorations and Sephardic musical sound garden.
Further along the main road we enter the Monasterio de San Juan de los Reyes. The monastery's vast corridors and central garden truly make you feel peaceful for at least a moment. The mazapán treats, which used to be made by the nuns inhabiting the monastery, were truly a delight.
Enjoying the sunny weather, we wonder around the small streets of Toledo, taking in the architecture, culture and shops (mainly the ones with chocolates and sweets of course). Ending up back at Plaza Zocodover, we see crowds of people gathering around the Museo de Santa Cruz. There we find the statue of one of Spain’s most famous authors - Miguel de Cervantes - his most popular character being none other than Don Quixote de la Mancha...