Day 3 - Day Trip to Toledo

The high speed trains and Spain make it easy to do day trips from Madrid.  As an added bonus, we saw these humongous sculpted baby heads in the train station.
In less than two hours we were in Toledo, the former capital of Spain and a town that is over 1000 years old.
The city was a confluence of Jewish, Christian, and Moorish cultures and that's reflected in the architecture.  The train station was distinctively Moorish.
Here's a view of the city on our walk into town from the train station.
Despite the age and beauty of the town there is always room for a modern delicacy -- a Churreria!
We soon approached the city gates and passed inside Toledo's walls.
Toledo is situated on a hill and the view is fantastic.  It was a cold day in November when we visited but the sun was shining.
We stopped to try a Spanish delicacy -- mazapanes (marzipan).  I don't typically like marzipan (the sickly sweet Austrian variety) but this stuff was delicious.  It was mild and nutty in flavor and very comforting on a cold day.  Don't miss it if you visit Toledo.  There were a number of shops including this one -- Mazapanes de Los Toledanos on Plaza de Zocodover.
We passed through an archway near Plaza de Zocodover and found a statue of Don Quixote.
I liked this Toledo crest adorning a nearby wall.
We walked toward the edge of town and drank in the views of the surrounding countryside.
We also got an up-close view of the Alcázar of Toledo (stone fortress).
Continuing on our walk, I chuckled when I saw Calle Toledo de Ohio.  Apparently Toledo, Ohio in the US has some pretty impressive roots.
The cathedral was a great landmark for determining where we were in the winding alleys of the town.
Colorful and modern cartoons warned people not to park in the doorway and gave directions to various sights nearby.
El Greco's house is in Toledo but unfortunately the museum was closed the day we were there.
Toledo features two major synagogues (Sinagoga El Transito and Sinagoga Santa Maria la Blanca) which highlight the multi-cultural roots of the town.
Birds took roost in statues adorning a nearby church.

We were surprised to find a Spar in the middle of a very quiet residential neighborhood as we wandered uphill.  It was the only commercial sign nearby.
I also made a new friend nearby.
Ravenous from all the hill walking (my legs are out of practice since we've been away from San Francisco for a while...), we stopped at Bar La Cuesta for lunch where we enjoyed a three course lunch with a full bottle of wine for only 9 euros a person - Amazing!
The wind started to pick up but we decided to take one more walk around the city before catching our train back to Madrid -- we found some great itineraries on go-toledo.com.
I love the cobbled streets of Toledo although it was a little rough on the tootsies after so many miles.
Gorgeous Moorish architecture and tire swing -- a surprising contrast.
Once again, we found ourselves peering out over the town wall into the river below.
The rain picked up a bit and we stopped for a rest.
A beautiful church...
...and display of pots and pans rounded out our walk.
We exited the city walls in grand style and made our way to the train station.
We covered 6.5 miles exploring Toledo -- a satisfying day trip.

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Sidewalk Safari: Day 3 - Day Trip to Toledo
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