Day Trip to Toledo

Trip Start Sep 08, 2009
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Trip End Nov 24, 2009


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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Castile-La Mancha,
Monday, September 14, 2009

We woke up early, checked out of our hostel and walked to the train station. We ended up missing our train due to a stupid rule we hadn't run into until Spain. Apparently if you get to the platform less than 2 minutes before your train leaves, they won't let you on. In every other country we'd gone to, as long as you made it on the train in time, you'd be okay. Even if the train is departing that moment, if you could hop on before the doors are closed and locked, you'd be okay. (That's why we'd be sprinting across train and subway platforms so often.) But in Madrid, they simply told us "no" and that we'd missed our train. So we ended up taking the next one, which wasn't a big deal except for having to pay a couple extra euros. So we ended up putting our backpacks in lockers (only taking our day bags with us). We watched the hundreds of turtles the train station had in a little sanctuary/habitat thing for a while and played our mini Chess game (Andre won).
We finally got on the next train and headed for Toledo!
When we got there we had the option of taking the "brutal" 30-minute hike up to the main part of the town or taking a cab or bus. Of course we ended up walking. The sun was pretty scorching but we made it without thinking it was as brutal as Rick Steves said it would be. Toledo is an ancient medieval town on a hill (so you're always walking up, up, and up it seems). It has a million little shops, restaurants, and some pretty awesome sites. The big one was the Cathedral. It is the grandest in all of Spain (according to our research). We started off at Zocodover Plaza, wandering in and out of the tiny streets, going and up down the cobblestone roads until we reached the Cathedral. It was magnificent. Decadent, holy, and jaw dropping- just how a big cathedral should be.
After the Cathedral we saw a bunch of other cool sites around the town, had a weird "Spanish" meal, and people-watched in the main square. Later in the evening we had to catch the train back to Madrid in order to transfer to another train station in order to take an overnight train to Lisbon, Portugal. On our way down from Toledo, we saw about 3 different wedding parties. It was cool to see Spanish brides. We were about a block away when we saw a bunch of fancy looking people and then heard little fireworks and it was a wedding party awaiting the bride and grooms' presence after the wedding ended. They came out of the church and everyone was throwing confetti and shooting off fireworks. It was pretty cool.
Our next entry will be from Lisbon. :)
-Michelle
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