Since I first began researching this trip, a visit to Toledo (about 50 minutes by bus south of Madrid) has been high on my list of priorities. I’d seen photographs online which indicated a town of great beauty. On top of that, there was the story of a town that was once the capital city during the middle ages, which continues to undergo significant restoration work, and which has become a major tourist attraction.
As we walked around the town yesterday, it appeared a visit to Toledo was compulsory for every school aged child in Spain. And, at the other end of the age-scale, it also appeared to be compulsory for every “View” or “University of the third age” (or Spanish equivalent) group within bus coach distance.
Totally understandable from our perspective. We really loved Toledo. Once you walk off the man drag, getting beyond the tourist buses and souvenir shops, there’s a really amazing town to explore. In particular, we really loved the Franciscan monastery for both it’s physical beauty and the peace and quiet it afforded. “Oh my goodness, is that a black Jesus”, I said to Sue, noting the extraordinary crucifix located in the main chapel.
On arriving back in Madrid, I had a shower and repacked my bag, ahead of last night’s flight. Sadly this is the end of my holiday.
Sue and I finished our time together with a wander around town and a bite to eat. I introduced her to the San Miguel Market, an awesome display of food and beverages.
Madrid was full of English footy fans, in town for a big match against Real Madrid. They seemed to be having a great time, singing, and drinking in the area around Plaza Mayor. While many of them enjoyed sampling the local cuisines at the bar where we ate, Sue and I both laughed out loud when we saw a plate of chips and eggs go by. The reference is the great play and movie, Shirley Valentine, where the English tourists insist on some “British food” in preference to the “Greek muck” on the island they’re visiting.
Sadly on this trip neither of us had a Shirley Valentine moment, with a view to retiring to a lovely Spanish island, but it’s been a terrific holiday.