“If you visit only a few Spanish cities in your lifetime, make beautiful romantic Toledo one of them”. -Frommer’s Spain Guide 2004
These were the words that prompted us on a whim to take an afternoon day trip to neighboring Toledo. Only an hour or so outside of Madrid lies the charming Medieval town of Toledo.
Toledo remains of special importance in the Spanish heart with its Arab, Jewish, Christian and Roman influences. The town borders the Tagus River on three sides and affords a spectacular view of the plains of New Castile. Surprisingly it has remained relatively unchanged or untouched over the years yet we did find annoying invaders of modern times creeping in by the tacky souvenir shops and overpriced tourist restaurants. We were all surprised to see all the new and rising generic subdivisions being build on the outskirts of Madrid and en route to Toledo.
We had a map yet found it extremely difficult to navigate the serpentine streets of medieval Toledo. This was going to be a common trend throughout our trip in Spain. Many streets are simply left off the map and we spent a lot of time simply being lost. Many times that is the best part of a trip. Getting lost and exploring. Yet for some reason, we found it annoying this time as we were constantly being stuck behind massive blocks of tour groups. After hours of walking it was time for lunch. We were both famished and had to settle for the closest option, a touristy restaurant nearby the cathedral with overpriced, terrible food.
Lesson learned: Sometimes the best most highly-rated must-see sites end up being the most disappointing for just that fact. They are overrun by everyone else who is trying to see them too.
Getting off the beaten path is getting harder…..
Stay tuned….yes I am really lacking photos on this trip but I’ve already committed to writing this series so onward I go! It may be short but sweet. All an experiment I guess.