Yesterday I went to Toledo.
Originally I was planning on having a relaxing day. I was maybe going to go to a museum, relax in a park, read, and find wifi somewhere so I could surf the web for a bit. However, the two Brazilians I had met convinced me to head to Toledo with them. To be honest it did not take a lot of convincing.
Toledo is similiar to Segovia. It was also a former seat of power for the Spanish monarchy, although at that time I believe it was the kingdom of Castille. Spanish history buffs, correct me if I am wrong. It also was built on top of a hill and looks quite fortress like from below. Much of the old part of town is surrounded by a wall. Like Segovia, it has a massive “Catedral” that dominates the skyline. Sadly there is no Roman aqueduct but there are Roman ruins.
On the bus ride there I met an American student studying in an international school in Toledo. It was nice to have a conversation with someone from back home (I consider most the U.S. to be back home at least culturally). She also gave me some good recomendations for things to do in Toledo so that was helpful.
Once we arrived at the bus station we hopped on a local bus which took us up the hill to the centre of the tourist area. A lot of the stuff we did falls under the “interesting if you are there, not so much if you are reading a blog about it” category so I will attempt to just skim through it and then show some pictures.
First we went to the army museum which showcased lots of weapons, armor, and an impressive collection of tiny model figurines. Honestly, the models were the best part. Rows upon rows of model soldiers really gives you a good idea of just how big an army is. A formation of 3,600 was on display and it was massive. It really puts in to perspective the fact that the Romans once had three armies of 50,000 in the Iberian peninsula.
Lunch was delicious as always. I ended up having what I think is deer although I am not 100% sure. After that we went to the library which has one of the tallest (free) viewpoints of the city. Then there was a really cool museum showcasing the inventions of Leonardo Da Vinci. None of them were actually ever built, but they were built in modern times based off of his designs. I forgot how brilliant that man was. Many of his inventions were outright crazy but were to some extent vindicated hundreds of years later when principles of his designs were important starting points for actual inventions such as flight and mechanical movement. Also, as my time with Ezio brought me into virtual contact with many of these inventions, they were even cooler to see (if this sentence makes no sense to you, don’t worry).
Then there was the “Catedral” which frankly was not worth 7 euros especially after viewing Segovia’s. Yes, it is beautiful and full of spectacular artwork and architecture but there are only so many ways to display Jesus on a cross and I think the Catholics figured out all of them 400 years ago. I’m excited to see La Segrada Familia in Barcelona if only for the fact that it is a church that is just different.
After that we wandered around, enjoying the spectacular views and the beautiful architecture. Went into a few of the hundred or so gift shops that sold swords. Honestly, if there is a zombie apocalypse and you are in Spain, go to Toledo. First off, it’s a fortress on a hill with a wall and lots of other protection. Secondly, there are thousands and thousands of swords as well as bows and crossbows. Segovia also would work although there aren’t as many weapons.
I’m writing this while speeding through the Spanish countryside at a brisk 300 km/h so expect to hear about that in my next post.
The train didn’t have wifi so I am posting this from my new hostel in Barcelona. So far it seems way better than where I stayed in Madrid. I’ll post more about it soon.
Also, I posted a bunch of extra pictures on google+.