April 27, 2013 by ebostick1212
It seems like nowadays I constantly have one eye out for offers on Groupon and Booking.com. I am probably the traveling equivalent of an extreme couponer. So, when a great deal came up for a room in the center of Toledo, I took it on a whim. I barely thought about it…and now, estoy aquí!
As a solo traveler, (my preferred method of traveling), I have had a lot of time to think. I didn’t even plan what I was going to do once I got here. Generally, when I travel I don’t have an itinerary; I just wander the streets and then decide what I want to do on the way. (Surely my grandfather is rolling over in his grave, as his first words on all family trips were, ‘And what are your goals for this vacation?‘)
So, here are some of my thoughts about the city of swords, steel, and El Greco.
1. Toledo is shockingly gorgeous. It is so different to Sevilla. Both cities are beautiful, of course, but maybe it is the medieval air that makes me like it so much.
2. The city is seriously touristy during the day, as it is an easy day-trip from Madrid, and this makes walking down the narrow streets difficult. Yet, it is a different place at night. The silence is almost deafening. Apart from the odd taxi, there aren’t many cars, and the flow of tourists fades away. Last night, when walking around the cathedral, it was so quiet, I could hear the rhythmic splash of a droplet of water falling from the roof, to the ground.
3. I guess Sevilla is guilty of this too, but there are plenty of restaurants serving up authentic paella. Why don’t the regions of Spain just cook their own delicious food? They don’t have to pretend to be Valencia. I guess they serve what most tourists come to Spain for…but I would much rather try an authentic pisto manchego, or estofado, and these things are difficult to find!
4. Toledo, in spite of being perched on a hill, with winding medieval streets, is surprisingly easy to navigate. Once I got my bearings, I realized I didn’t even need my map. I just look for the cathedral, and go in that direction. As for the hills, they aren’t as bad as Granada, and I like to think I am burning off the mazapan I’ve been eating.
5. I cannot wait to go to the El Greco Museum this afternoon. I have a small love affair with this artist, and his museum was the one thing I actually planned on doing this weekend. More good news…the museum is free on Saturdays in the afternoon! Perfect!
So, I will post soon about my experience here, with pictures…these were just my first impressions.