Sunday, November 4, 2018

Visiting the medieval city of Toledo, Spain

Imagine visiting an entire hill top city that has been declared as World Heritage Site due to extensive historical landmarks and monuments dating back to the Roman Empire period giving you the eerie feeling that you have been transported back in medieval time. It would be an experience of a lifetime, isn’t it?
My wife and I were lucky to learn about this place during our preparation for our second European trip. I learned about this place from my Half Brazilian and Half Spanish colleague in my work site in Africa. He specifically mentioned two places that we need to visit when we are in Barcelona and Madrid; we have to see Montserrat Monastery while in Barcelona and when we are in Madrid we need to visit Toledo. I am really thankful to him.
Hence, while spending several days in Madrid, we made a DIY day trip to Toledo City. It is quite easy; just buy a train or bus ticket then off you go.


Toledo on top of the hill

View from the top


Inside Synagogue of Santa Maria la Blanca

We arrived here by train from Atocha Station; it took us half an hour to reach Toledo Railway Station which is by the way an attraction in itself due to its Moorish design and walls covered with ceramic tiles and plaster mouldings. We rode a waiting taxi cab at the station and after a few minutes disembarked at Plaza Zodocover avoiding the escalator on our way to the top. We just followed the throngs of tourists and road signs of different monuments and landmarks such as ”Catedral de Toledo” and “Alcazar.” In so doing, we were totally amazed while exploring the entire place as if we were in the middle of “Assassin’s Creed” movie, lol.
Puente de Alcantara
Puente de Alcantara

Surprisingly, we find the entire place walkable or maybe we haven’t visited all those numerous and magnificent landmarks. The wife and I returned back to train station by foot, we followed the rocky stairs down to the Roman bridge “Puente de Alcantara” and had coffee and snacks outside the railway station while waiting for the train.
Notice the crusader at the back, lol

We never bothered to enter all those museums or religious landmarks though they were open for tourists because by simply exploring the city itself we were overwhelmed by the medieval structures, buildings and religious monuments. The three great religions, Christianity, Islam and Jews co-exist here in Toledo in the olden times. In addition, unbeknownst to us, Toledo has been a traditional sword making center even during the time of the Roman Empire thus my eyes feasted on numerous shops selling knives and swords. 

At that time, there were less tourists so we fully enjoyed the place while having leisurely stroll along its narrow and winding streets.
So when you are in Madrid find time to visit this medieval city.
I tried feasting on Paella too in Toledo.

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