Spain 2010: Madrid -> Toledo

The second day of our trip included a morning in Madrid and traveling to Toledo that afternoon.

After eating a small breakfast at the hostel, we walked over to the Prado Museum.

On top of it just being the biggest museum I’d ever visited, they had a huge collection of Velazquez paintings, rooms full of sculptures, and a really neat still life exhibition.

Obviously, I couldn’t take pictures in the museum, but it was a fun activity. It had been a while since I’d visited one and I’m really happy I got to go and indulge my love of art.

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After leaving the museum and getting our bags, we headed to the train station in Madrid to catch our 30 minute train to Toledo.

This train station was crazy! They had this rain-forest type thing in the middle of it and there were birds flying through the building.

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We got off the train in Toledo and had a short walk to the entrance in the city walls, but it was worth every minute.

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Toledo does stretch further than the original city walls, but I’ve never visited something like this. The old city walls that used to protect it from intruders are still standing.

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Every part of Toledo was beautiful.

I found myself holding my breath a few times while walking through the city, just hoping that I didn’t miss anything.

THIS is what I thought of when I thought of Spain.

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And not even a mile into the main part of the city, we found another old city gate + tower! And the door was open, so we headed up :)

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And this was the staircase! We all had to duck to get through there with our backpacks on – and I’m not very tall (5’5”), so you can imagine how tight it was in there.

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But the steep and narrow staircase was worth it – the view from the top was one high point from our trip to Toledo.

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After coming down from the tower, we walked through the city to find our hostel for the night.

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The streets were so narrow; it was hard to believe the people actually drive cars down the roads.

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The week we were in Spain also happened to be Carnival, so there were big parties outside each night and lots of people walking around in costumes.

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Girls trying to read maps is always funny ;)

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We found our hostel, dropped our stuff off and headed back out to explore!

We tried to find this place that Tiff and James had eaten at before, but we never did.

One thing we did find?

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This view.

I’ll tell you one reason I loved Toledo so much: This city took my breath away more than once.

This view popped up out of nowhere. We were walking down a street lined with houses and it just opened  up to this.

Call me dorky, but I honestly had tears in my eyes – and that was only the first time that happened to me in Toledo. I just wasn’t expecting to see this, and (as pretty as it looks in the picture) it was so much more beautiful in person.

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After posing for pictures in front of the view, we went looking for dinner. Luckily, most places with outdoor seating had heaters by the tables, so we sat and enjoyed a pizza dinner together out on the plaza while listening to the Carnival parade going by.

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After demolishing 3 pizzas, we (of course) went in search of dessert before heading back to the hostel.

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I know you may not like this picture, Mom, but I love it :) Especially since you can see James making a funny face in the background.

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We took my parents back to the hostel after this and then us youngins headed back out for a while. We ended up at an outdoor concert in another plaza – all these families and groups were dressed up in costumes and dancing! It was fun to watch, so we hung out there for a little while before heading back to bed.

After this 1/2 day in Toledo, I wasn’t sure it could get any better – but it did.

 

Up next!

Day 2 in Toledo, Another Teary – Eyed Moment, and Snow in Sequellamos

 

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20 comments

  1. Okay I am totally living vicariously through you! Your trip sounds amazing, I am loving the recaps :)

  2. Wow, wow, wow. How beautiful!

  3. How did the shoes work out???? I see the hat made many appearances! It looks like you had so much fun!

    • The shoes were great, but I did switch between those and regular tennis shoes. It was REALLY cold the first few days, so I wanted my feet completely covered :)

      And yes, the hat was perfect! Cold weather + wind doesn’t make for good hair days, so the hat came in handy.

  4. Wow all the architecture is amazingly beautiful. And that forest is crazy!! How random/awesome!

    The views look stupendous. How breath-taking…

  5. FABULOUS pictures. i want to jump on the next plane to spain!!

  6. The architecture there is unbelievable and not to mention the food looks drool worthy as well! Is it one of those trips where you feel like you don’t even believe you went!? Those are the best!

  7. What a blast! I’ve been to the area around Rota in the southwestern part (for work) and was in Madrid for a whole 4 hours or so during the layover. I really enjoyed my time there.

  8. Wow! You must be having a wonderful time. After reading this post, I’ve officially added Toledo to my “places to see before leaving Europe” list. Thanks!

  9. Aw, you guys look like you are having an amazing time! The food and views are incredible!!

  10. The photographs are beautiful! Oh and I think your sister and I have the same purple bag! lol

  11. Atocha is the most beautiful train station I’d ever seen when I traveled.

    And I agree about the views in Toledo. I wish I could have spent more time there.

  12. FABULOUS. there are no words. it looks like you had so much fun, and this makes me miss spain even more. love ya!

  13. SO. AMAZING. everything.

  14. Absolutely breathtaking. All that history, those views — what an experience!

    Gonna go read your other trip posts!

  15. Great pictures! Toledo is amazing. Yes, even the train station!

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