A quick 30-minute train ride from Madrid lies the city of Toledo, high upon a hill. It’s a beautiful city with great historical significance and has been home to three major religions and their people and cultures. It’s evident in the beautiful architecture, the narrow, winding streets, and the beautiful gothic cathedral located in the center of the city.
It’s quite easy to get lost in Toledo, or one could look at it as not lost, but as wandering through the winding maze of alley ways that act as actual streets. They’re so narrow it’s hard to imagine how a car would get through them, and yet they do.
We arrived by train a little before noon and took a taxi to the Cathedral and set off from there. We walked around a little, got a (questionable) bite to eat and some coffee, and then set out again armed with a comically oversized map. We were heading back towards the cathedral, which didn’t seem to be that far away. How far could we have walked?
An hour later we found it and that’s a testament to how navigable the city is. But like I said, we chose not to think of it as getting lost, but as an opportunity to see sights and sounds and people that we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. See what I did there? It’s all an adventure, even when it takes you longer than expected to get where you’re going.
There are a couple of must-sees in Toledo, but my favorite was the beautiful Gothic Cathedral. The cathedral is a wonderful example of Spanish Gothic architecture and is just as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside. The inside is full of beautiful stained glass, vaulted ceilings, and ornate alter pieces. The choir is breathtaking. It also houses some of El Greco’s best works, and we lingered there a long time.
We also visited the Alcazar, which was a fortress and now houses the Army museum. It was a really interesting collection and a great way to learn more about Spanish military history. It’s also huge. The views from their terrace were some of the best we saw all day.
There’s also the El Greco museum and house, but we didn’t get to that. The rest of the day was spent enjoying the sun, the winding streets, and the beautiful views. We had lunch in a sunny plaza and stopped into a few souvenir shops before catching the train back to Madrid.
It was one of my favorite days in Spain.