Barely Touched Toledo

I feel like I barely scratched the surface of Toledo in four days.

The streets are like a labyrinth – they change direction and names at every opportunity, and are so narrow you can’t see landmarks. I haven’t been this lost since last year in Seville!

But I was never in a hurry to get anywhere. I was just happy wandering, trying to stay in the sun which was pleasant at 13oC. And considering the sheer number of churches and museums here, there was a significant drop in the number I wanted to enter. I’ve reached saturation.

Toledo is perched up on hill, and being an old walled city, there are gates. This first one is called Alcántara Gate (Puente de Alcántara). This is one is all strung up with Christmas lights.

This is the entry back up to the city.

This is looking down on Bisagra Gate, which was rebuilt and extended in 1550. I should have kept the picture of the traffic whipping through here, to show how much a part of everyday life they are.

Crista de Luz Gate

View of the Alcázar, the highest point in Toledo.

Toledo is a fascinating mix of cultures. There is a Jewish quarter, a Christian quarter, and a Muslim quarter. I meant to ask someone what happened to the fourth quarter…

Mosques became churches and vice versa, but they also coexisted here as well. I’ll start with the biggest, a cathedral that was built between 1226 and 1493 on the site of a mosque.

The whole cathedral was the most ornate I’ve seen, with a equivalent of an art gallery in the Sacristy that had El Greco, de Goya, Rubens etc. But the most unique feature was this ‘Transparente’. It was basically a skylight made in the 1700’s, with baroque figures surrounding it. I had to pirate a photo because the bright light coming in the window didn’t let the figures show up.

El Greco

Mosque of Christo de la Luz. 10th century building from before the Christian Reconquest, and then in 12th century turned into a Christian chapel.

Museo Santa Cruz.

More El Greco

My first hotel was in a 15 century building beside the cathedral. My balcony is lower right.

View from the balcony

Second hotel was beside Convent of Santo Domingo ‘El Antigua’. The balconies the with open doors were mine. Lovely old house with roof top terrace.

The ‘Toledo’ dish to have was ‘Carcamusas’, a pork stew. It was good, enough for two meals!

Roasted red peppers and tuna and egg

Cod! Hard to find inland when meat was king

Free tapas with wine – some kind of curried egg salad

Callos with garbanzos, unfortunately, turned out to be tripe 😳

Craving an egg!

1025 rapid train to Madrid this morning, so only 35 minutes! Just spent the day walking in the sun. Had lunch (more fish!), came back to the hotel to finish this post (am very grateful for good internet!!) and now going through my suitcase to make it carry-on compliant. Tomorrow I fly to Amsterdam for four days, then back to Canada 🇨🇦

The clock is ticking on this trip…

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