Tuesday, November 18, 2008

HOLY Toledo! Spain That Is.

Don't let people fool you. Showing a sheet of unconjugated Spanish verbs to the ticket agent in the Madrid train station DOES NOT make a) it easier to get the appropriate train ticket or b) not make you look like a total dope. This is the predicament my friend Ali and I found ourselves in as we attempted to purchase round trip tickets to Toledo. A town approximately a 30 minute train ride outside of Madrid. Really, when it comes down to it, I blame my friend Erin for the entire predicament. An unexpected illness that I accurately diagnosed as a hangover had hit her that morning, preventing her from accompanying us on our journey. While I would never throw a stone at the glass house of hangover, it did leave us sansinterpreter, and holding a dern scribbled piece of paper with dern unconjugated verbs. Okay - anger subsiding - rule number 12 (out of the arbitrary rule book for responsible travel) if you don't speak the language at the very least bring your guidebook. Pointing at a map is the universal language - screw math.
(Eww! Stock Photo :( My digital camera decided to be annoying this evening - will update when I figure out the situation!)

SHOCKINGLY (and 20 minutes of blank stares later) we were able to secure two round trip tickets to Toledo, and beyond the frustration (truly part of the fun) it was totally worth the trip. The town (while very small) has tons of history and some good sites to wander around and explore. The prominent attraction is most definitely the Alcazar of Toledo which dominates the skyline of the town. The cost of entry isn't too steep, so I would def. recommend at least checking it out. However, be warned most of the building is dedicated to a war museum. It's got some good history, but little solider figurines t'aint my favorite thing. Still, learning about the destruction caused during the Spanish Civil War was extremely interesting.

Beyond the Alcazar, we actually spent most of the afternoon simply walking around the city - which seemed very accessible. We also stumbled across several quaint restaurants with quaint little wine lists. The one we ended up eating at didn't have exceptional food, but the people were friendly and had no problem letting us sit for a "short" little 2 hour meal. Overall, I would say it is a good day trip if you have had your fill of Madrid.

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