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UNESCO World Heritage Site: Historic City of Toledo

Toledo


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Today I finally managed to visit Toledo, an extremely beautiful, historical town that I've wanted to go to for many years!

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It was a day trip organised by my hostel and we left quite late in the morning so I didn't have as much time as I'd have liked - I only really had time for some photos from a viewing point at the top of the public library...

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... a wander through picturesque, narrow, cobbled streets, a set lunch and then a really good look round the cathedral, including a trip up the belfry tower to see what I think is the largest bell in Spain.

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The cathedral included a museum that was mainly filled with religious art but also contained four silver sculptures from 1695 of a goddess sitting on a globe showing one of the four known continents on the world at the time. I gave a mental cheer when I looked at the Americas one and saw the names of both Guayaquil and Quito carved into the correct places in the space where the country Ecuador would later be created.

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At lunch I tried something I'd never tried until then - octopus. It came in chunks as part of the free appetiser. The texture and taste was much nicer than I expected. I still don't think I'd be able to eat an octopus if it arrived on my plate whole with all its tentacles out, but in the future if a dish has octopus chunks in it I won't hold back from ordering it.

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After I left the cathedral I had just enough time to buy a very special souvenir for myself - a small but high quality knife with a blade made from Toledo steel and the handle handmade from antler. I did the whole interaction with the guy in the shop in Spanish so I didn't understand every word he said, but before I bought it I made sure to check that it's a type of knife allowed into the UK. He showed me the types he had that aren't allowed and said that my one was fine. So fingers crossed it will get through OK on Monday! I've already put it into my big case to make sure I don't leave it in my hand luggage by mistake and have it confiscated at baggage x-ray.

Once I was back in Madrid I met two really nice girls from Philadelphia who had moved into my dorm while I was out. They were very chatty and when they said they were going to Lisbon soon I told them that I think it's one of the best cities I've ever been to, which made them get even more excited about it. Amongst other things, I recommended that they go to the famous Portuguese custard tart shop/café in the area of Belém.

For dinner the three of us joined in an all-you-can-eat tapas event organised by the hostel jointly with some other hostels nearby. There ended up being quite a large group. We were taken on a walk to the tapas bar, which was almost unnoticeable on the street (it wasn't a touristy place), led upstairs and then organised into groups standing up at small circular tables. Plates of tapas were brought round to us, along with very large glasses of a drink very much like sangria. The tapas was very tasty, though not very much at all in the way of vegetables.

After the tapas finished there was an option to carry on to a bar crawl, but the Philadelphians and I decided to give it a miss and head to bed, as it was already very late and we had a lot planned for the next day. They were going to go on a Toledo day trip (I'd recommended it) and there were lots of things I wanted to see and do in Madrid.

Posted by 3Traveller 07:49 Archived in Spain Tagged art toledo museum spanish spain cathedral madrid hostel unesco_world_heritage_site spanish_cuisine

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