Toledo is just a short, 30-minute train ride from Madrid, so B and I made sure to spend some time there today. Toledo was my favorite city when I studied abroad in Spain ten years ago. The city is built upon a hill alongside the River Tagus (yes, the same one from Lisbon) and surrounded by a brick wall.
Toledo is famous for its mixture of architectural influences that resulted through many conquests and changes of power throughout the area over the centuries. There were the Romans in 192 BC, the Visigoths, the Moors in the 8 AD, and the Christians in 1085 AD. Many of the buildings--as well as the maze-like streets--were influenced by Arabics.
We walked from the train station up-hill to the main square (Plaza de Tocovar). It was h-o-t, so the first thing I did was buy a fan. In this picture, the thermometer says that it is 38 degrees Celsius, but I swear it had just changed! It said 39 before I turned my back to pose.
B loved the atmosphere and agreed that it was definitely worth seeing. We spent a long time in the Army Museum housed within the Alcazar, "one of Toledo's most symbolic buildings, whose earliest origins go back to Roman times (3rd century). It was conceived historically as a fortress, castle, or palace." I thought that this was just amazing, because inside they had uncovered and then preserved parts of the fortress that had previously been there: brick and stone walls, water cisterns, watch towers. Of course I LOVED all of the archaeological stuff! I even snuck in a few pictures, even though I wasn't supposed to.
After strolling around the city and peeking into the shops along the Calle Comercio (aka: Commerce Street), we ended up at a corner cafe. We drank beer, ate croquettes and marzipan, and enjoyed the water that misted down on us from the umbrellas over head. Life was good.
Total steps: 10,301