Harvesting Hobbits in Toledo
The winding paved streets and brick walls tower over head and cast long shadows in the suffocating heat. The structures dwarf you and add to the feeling of entrapment as you become more contained within the old city walls that speak of hundreds of years’ worth of medieval history. This small fortified town was once the capital city of Spain, and holds an important role in Spanish history, hence why it has become a dedicated UNESCO World Heritage site. The castles, cathedrals and monasteries display stories of Kings and Queens, forbidden interracial romances and bloody battles!
As a result, Toledo has an almost sickening amount of medieval souvenir shops, and they all seem to offer the same stock… “Hobbit Swords”!?!?! I´m not sure how this is a fair representation of the local history and local steel-production which has worldwide fame, unless in the underground fortress bunkers that Jamie kept speculating about they were breeding a mutant crop of hairy footed folk that could only be culled by the magical Elvish blade! Definitely not what we were expecting from this wee city and Jamie wasn´t exactly enthusiastic… The comicality of all this was combo´d by a motivated young salesman in one shop who´s language retardation was on-par with mine and tried to influence a purchase by telling us Toledo was very hysterical (instead of historical). I can only begin to imagine what would happen if this city became hysterical…
Anyway, being a little over all the cathedrals and castles Europe has to offer (is that wrong?) we spent most of our weekend eating and drinking – something that never gets old! Jamie wanted to harness the strength and masculinity of los Torro´s – the Bulls – and ordered the local special of Ox Tail, while I proceeded to stuff myself with veal ragout. Toledo was great for providing the infamous Menu de la Dia for €10 which include a 3 course meal, vino and bread, and undoubtedly left you stuffed to the point of immobility. All very well until indulging in a trip on the site-seeing train along rickety cobbled streets which made it more like a vibrating spew-coaster than a pleasure ride.
This Toldeo site-seeing ´train´ is voted the number one activity to do in Toledo, and provides you with a panoramic trip around the city to all the viewing spots that give you the classic postcard shot (below)! All while listening to music Jamie described as “boring-as-f#$*” and that embodied triumphant classical masterpieces consistent with the aging surroundings. Disappointingly the surroundings were poorly managed and for a World Heritage Site, no one was doing much to keep it clean. Views were worth the trip though!
Eventually we returned to our stunning abode at Antidoto Rooms, only to find that our glass bench that was fully loaded with coffee machines, cups and saucers, and various other nic-nacs had conveniently self-destructed and exploded throughout the room covering everything in glass and coffee. With limited Spanish it was rather hard to explain that we hadn´t caused this riot, although even an idiot could see that it had been installed by a rather drunk workman! Making the stay even more complicated, we managed to lock ourselves out in the middle of the night. With no 24 reception and limited cellphone battery we were contemplating scaling the building, but alas – because the Spanish don´t have dinner until midnight anyway we managed to contact the hotel manager who wandered down back through town and let us in.
The evening had seen us witness some unique (really bad) local musical monologues under the stars and the fairy lights, get interrogated by some abuela (grandma/old lady) about whether we were Catholic, and get lost in the maze that is Toledo.
This entry was published on August 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm. It’s filed under Spain
and tagged castle
, day trip
, world heritage
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