We decided to explore Toledo on the 2nd day of our Spain trip and anyone who has done a fair amount of international travel will know that jet lag usually hits on the second day. We only had two places on our list – The Alcazar and the Cathedral of Toledo, both of which we could only get a glimpse of. My toddler, M couldn’t take the cold and she made her discomfort known, loud and clear.
But when you travel with a toddler, you learn to experience the Joy of Missing Out more than the Fear of Missing out 🙂
It was a wintry March day and the city being on top of a hill made the trip even colder. We went through Toledo with groggy, jetlagged eyes, but that’s not saying that the city didn’t charm us. What we did get is a flavor of this old charming city and I hope that shows in this post.
Toledo is a small city with narrow cobblestone streets. They seem so charming and quaint when you’re walking, but if you’re driving, they can be the bane of your existence. If you can manage it, do take public transportation, because parking is nearly impossible in the old city. My husband’s driving skills really impressed me. It’s crazy when you have to back up and veer through streets that are no wider than your little finger!
When we drove up the hill to the Cathedral, we were happy to have found an open parking spot on the road, but we were asked to park in a paid parking lot nearby, because spaces on the road are meant for local residents only. Oh well!
This amazing view of the city and the Hospital of Tavera (which we mistook for the Alcazar initially) in the distance greeted us as we got out of the parking lot.The Alcantara bridge spans the Tagus river which flows through Toledo. Another beauty is the Caste of San Servando, a medieval castle on the banks of the Tagus, which is an ancient monastery and also used be home to the Knights Templar! Lunch was at place called Antonio’s (or Anthony’s, I can’t remember). We got some roasted vegetables and veggie paella. If you’re vegetarian, this is a phrase you’ll want to remember “Solo Verduras” – which means Only Vegetables. The Spanish consider tuna to be a vegetable 🙂
We walked without an agenda after lunch, which M seemed to love! A few glimpses –
Why can’t we have wonderfully named shops like this?
There are two things which you shouldn’t miss. First is Marzipan or mazapan, which Toledo is known for. It’s made of almond meal sweetened with sugar or honey. Absolutely divine. The second is Manchego cheese. It’s made from sheep’s milk and comes from Spain’s La Mancha region, which Toledo is a part of.
We were back in Madrid by dusk. While M napped in her comfy bed, I surprisingly had the energy to go shopping with my sister. Do visit the Primark near Gran Via. Dinner was from Papizza, a chain which sells, Pasta and Pizza! Papizza 🙂 Great options for vegetarians in perfect portion sizes, not like the gargantuan pizzas we have here in the US.
So that’s it for my Toledo tour. Hope you enjoyed Toledo through my lens. Next up is Seville. And I promise this time I won’t drop the “Travel” ball to write story upon fictional story. This is a “Mixed Bag” after all!