Holy Toledo! - Madrid/Toledo - Day 4

Trip Start Apr 01, 2009
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Trip End Jul 13, 2009


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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Castile-La Mancha,
Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Today, I woke up very early to catch the 30 minute train ride to Toledo, which is just south of Madrid. I arrived in Toledo at around 10:30 am to an overcast and rainy day. Unfortunately, the rain put a substantial damper on the entire Toledo experience because many of the sites and stores were closed. The city is also packed with tourist, which can also take away from the experience. Toledo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a beautiful and ancient city with a very interesting history (http://www.toledo.world-guides.com/). I stopped into a few wonderful local artisan shops, including a wood carver and Damascene jewelry maker. Handmade Damascene is the art of inlaying very thin threads of gold or silver into steel. It was really cool to see this done. See the pictures. The city was once a central hub during the Spanish Inquisition, so after wandering around for an hour or so, I stopped into the Exhibicion de Antiguos Instrumentos de Tortura or Museum of Ancient Instruments of Torture! See the pictures. After the museum, I began to wander around and got lost in the city for 2 hours! The city is very hilly, so getting lost in the rain was not very fun! Once the rain cleared, I found a nice outdoor cafe where I stopped for a beer and some cafe con leche before heading back to Madrid. After a big day of wondering around in the rain, I headed back to the hostel to chill out and get to bed early!
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