Sunday, February 1, 2009


overview of Toledo

I arrived in Toledo, via bus from Madrid, yesterday. I am staying in a small pensìon in the walled city. I have a small, simple room and shared bath for $15 euros per night....less than $20 US dollars. Great system here of small accomodations for a single traveler. Here is a view of the pension.

Toledo is a special place with reminders of its history as a crossroads. Set on a hill, surrounded on three sides by a river, this walled city has buildings and bridges of its Roman, Moorish, Jewish, Catholic eras, as well as its current inhabitants. Yesterday I visited the old synagogue (see photo below) and Jewish quarter from which the Sephardic Jews were banished during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella at the same time Columbus set sail for the Americas. Previously they had been an important segment of life in Spain. There are magificent Catholic cathedrals, narrow streets, fine gold working. This is also the land of Don Quixote and his sidekick, Sancho Panza.

I am working my way slowly southward. I will see one of the Anglos from Pueblo Ingles, a young Scotsman whose parents have a place near Malaga before heading to Morocco. In a couple of small world stories, which I so love, I was coming up from the Metro in Madrid to the bus level and spotted Richie, one of the Anglos from Pueblo Ingles. At well over 6 feet, this Englishman who is now living in Madrid, was easy to spot. We managed quick kisses (Spaniards kiss on each cheek....a greeting similar to our SKP hugs) and sharing a few thoughts before his bus arrived.

Later in the day I was walking across the plaza in Toledo and heard my name called. Tana and Graham, also from England, but now live in their caravan and boat, were here too. So we spent the day exploring together.

Most of our Spaniards in the program were from Madrid or Galecia and Basque areas. I don´t expect to see any of them as I travel. But I plan another trip to Spain, with a stop in England to see my old school friend, Gayle, before long. When I do that, I will spend time in northern Spain and see some of my new friends and visit the hot springs of the area. I learned about Ourency from my housemate and one of the other participants.

It is quite cold here and my hands were freezing. I left my gloves in my room. When I saw this internet spot, I decided it was time to warm up and post a blog. And now it is time for lunch, then siesta.

Dont know when I will be on the internet again.

The dancing was part of a political protest expressing concerns that the leading parties of Spain were ignoring the regional concerns. I enjoyed the young boy who got into the mood. The street scene is typical with the very narrow streets. When a car comes through, and they do occassionally, pedestrians step onto the narrow door sills to let the car and its mirrors safely pass. Plazas and streets are lit up and lively at night, even on this fairly cold and damp evening

No comments:

Post a Comment