I mentioned in an earlier post that due to a lack of accommodation in Madrid we decided to stay at a little town called Toledo not far out of Madrid. We still don’t know what was going on in Madrid that weekend, so we’ll call it ‘That Thing That Was On’ but when we were looking for accommodation for the two nights the only rooms we could find were upwards of £500 (each, per night) and quite a way out of the city.
Because we knew we had to drop the car off in Madrid we looked into towns a little way out and read that Toledo was an interesting little place to visit and would get us to about an hour away from our car drop off time the following day.
So we set off and went cross-country from Valencia to Toledo, which is about a five hour drive. It was a pretty nice drive, both from a ‘nice views’ perspective and for me because there was hardly any traffic, which made my driving experience all the better.
Arriving in Toledo our Sat Nav got us as close as possible to our accommodation but again, it was inside the old town and not accessible via car. After navigating a parking spot and walking around for a while (in 40 degree heat, with all our bags) we found a tourist info place to show us the way…and we were about a 1 minute walk from our place – win!!
‘That Thing That Was On’ seemed to be extended from Madrid to Toledo because it was absolutely SWARMING with people, and lots of tour buses and HEAPS of high-school aged children.
After getting settled and cooled down, we headed out to explore. We walked around the town a bit, stopped for a pint, walked around some more, stopped for another pint, walked around some more … you see the pattern emerging I’m sure!
Toledo’s in the middle of the country so there was no chance of catching a sea breeze and it was all concrete/stone/cement because it’s an old fortress town so it was HOT. In the end we were both so tired from the extreme heat we found a shady little spot at a bar, near the centre of town, perfect for people watching and playing our very competitive holiday game of Rummy! It was getting serious by this stage in the holiday!!!
After a few hours hard at it, we decided to move on… and only made it to the pub next door to the one we were in and had more drinks (Sangria this time), did some more people watching and had some food.
As I’ve mentioned before, all the partying starts late in the evening in Spain, and Toledo was no different. But by about 11pm I was knackered, and drunk and tired so we headed off to bed. Right outside our window there was this massive sound system and huge party going on which we slept pretty much right through. It must have been going on for ages but we only woke up just at the end of it at about 3am. Must have really needed that sleep to have slept through it all. Not wanting to miss out on the fun, C was just getting dressed and heading out to see what it was all about when it ended, so he got back into bed and wondered if it’d all been a dream.
Although we spent less than 24 hours there as a stop off before Madrid, we are glad we went. Toledo is a quaint little town, rich in heritage and culture. It is situated on the top of a mountain with views all around the city walls of the surrounding province. It was an important part of Spain during the many wars the country has seen, and the historical swords, shields and body armours are seen all over the place in souvenir shops. It was famed for ‘religious tolerance’ after what they called the La Convivencia period, during which there was a happy co-existence Christians, Muslims and Jews from the early eighth century and the late fifteenth century. It looks a little like a big fortress from the outside but the winding, narrow streets inside, which probably came in handy in defending the city, give it a little quaint, bohemian feel from a modern day perspective.