Madrid, Spain; Day 3

Our three Adventurers took a day trip to the ancient city of Toledo, Spain. It is a walled city on a hill with Arab, Jewish and Christian monuments throughout. It is another UNESCO world heritage site and located on the banks of the Targas River. The same river last seen by the Adventurers flowing past the Belèm Tower in Lisbon 350+ miles to the southwest. Toledo was the capital of the Visigoth kingdom after the fall of the Roman Empire.

The day started with a quick breakfast around the corner from our apartment. We tried to go to this place yesterday but the line was very very long. This morning we got a table inside and quickly ordered yummy looking options. We were trying our best Spanish and after Tiffany ordered her coffee, Suaram said – in Spanish and dripping in sarcasm – ‘¿Es Ver Dad? ¿Quieres cafè?’ which means ‘Really? You want coffee?’ Aunt Tracy and the server just cracked up which means her joke translated pretty well.

Next we crossed the street to the train station. It’s huge but very well laid out. Unlike finding a place to return the rental car, we had no trouble finding our train for the short ride to Toledo.

Once we arrived we walked out of the beautiful train station and up up up into the city itself.

Our first destination was the Primatial Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo, a Roman Catholic Church. Constructed between 1226 and 1493, it is considered by many to be the most impressive of Spain’s gothic cathedrals. We can’t compare since it’s the only one we’ve seen, but this ones pretty impressive.

The site where it sits originally held a Visigoth church. When the Moors conquered this part of the peninsula it had an Islamic mosque built over it which in turn was built over with the Cathedral. Aspects of the architecture and archeological evidence show proof of the Muslim influence in this structure.

The adventures took the audio guide tour which was very informative about the highlights of the large church. This church was the most ornate we’ve seen with so many details it would take weeks to appreciate them all.

The rest of the afternoon was spent doing a little souvenir shopping and doing lots of walking up and down the city hills looking at other interesting plazas, monuments and buildings. We didn’t go inside any others but enjoyed them from street.

Around 5:30 we were headed to see our last site, a medieval bridge built in 1390. Before we headed down to the river, we ducked into a public restroom and we’re lucky we did. A storm rolled in complete with thunder, lightning, heavy rain and even a little hail. We were about a 30 minute walk from the train station and were not looking forward to getting soaked. We waited it out under cover hoping it would clear up in time for us to make our 7:20 train. We travel with one pair of walking shoes, so wet shoes today means sloshy feet the rest of the week. No thanks!

Our view of the rainstorm

Fortunately, after about 25 minutes the rain lessened enough for us to make a break for it. After another 15 minutes is had stopped completely and we could see sun poking through the clouds. It made for a pleasant walk (downhill) to end our adventures in Toledo.

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