11.24.2007


Near the Gate
Originally uploaded by tjdee
The point of my trip is to kick it in Madrid for two full weeks, to really soak in this one city. That said, I thought it would be stupid to totally ignore the nearby attractions, so I wanted to choose one place to visit for a day. There are several options within a two hour train or bus ride: Segovia, Ávila, El Escorial and Toledo. I kept going back and forth but finally settled on Toledo, in large part because I wanted to experience Europe´s high-speed trains and this is the only really day trip-friendly place you can get to on one of those trains.

After a 25-minute trip (55 miles) in a super comfy tourist-class coach, I arrived at the pretty train station, but faced an annoying 30-minute mostly uphill climb to get to the old city walls and up to the main plaza. I could have taken a bus but I chose to walk it. From Plaza Zocódover, I headed to the gorgeous Cathedral, where I surprisingly was able to take a ton of photos of beautiful art by El Greco. From there I wandered around the painful stone streets until I found one of the city´s synagogues, which is now the National Museum of Sephardic Jews. It was super interesting but by the end of the walkthrough my feet were in soooo much pain. Damn stone streets. They´re beautiful but a serious pain.

I hit some tapas bars and bought some of the city´s famous mazapán before walking back down toward the train station - well, not toward it at first. I got seriously lost, but luckily had given myself plenty of time to get there.

Today´s been cool but I had another random runin, this time with about 50 police officers getting ready to deal with a HUGE group of people marching through the city to protest ETA. More on that here.