Day Thirteen – Cordoba to Madrid, Spain

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast day on tour, second last day in Spain. Today is another FULL day. We hopped on the bus and has a 2 hour drive to the city of El Toboso. This is one of the cities mentioned in Don Quixote. This city did not have much other then 2 Don Quixote statues, a lot of Don Quixote nicknacks to buy, fig candies, olive oil moisturizer and a bakery.

After our 15 min stop we climbed back on the bus and headed to Toledo. Before we got to Toledo, we stopped at a rest stop. All along this trip we have been stopping at rest stops to give our driver a break. So most of the rest stops we had were very “Spanish” for lack of a better word. They had home cooked food, and were more cafeteria based then a Canadian rest stop. This one was more “Canadian” as it had vendors and a pharmacy and you got more commercialized food. It was like getting ready to be back to civilization.

Next off to Toledo. I think it was another 2 hour drive. So Toledo used to be the capitol of Spain, and the religious centre of Spain. Because of this the saying “Holy Toledo” was formed, as Toledo really was “holy.” Toledo is a tiny town surrounded by the river on 3 sides. When the capitol of Spain was moved form Toledo to Madrid, there was an economic decline that helped to preserve the cities cultural and architectural heritage.

Toledo is known for sword making, marzipan and jewellery. We were given free time to have lunch before we had to meet up for a walk through town to the bus. During our free time, we had lunch at a tiny bistro, then we went to the Alcazar fortress (16th century), located in the highest part of town, overlooking the city. The Alcazar now is a Army Museum. So for 7 euro we could walk through and explore. It was ok. lots of sword and different types of guns on display. But it was cool to see all the Spanish “uniforms.”

After we met up with the group and bought some marzipan before walking through town. Our walk through town showed off most of the sights. Also it was cool that they had lots of coverade roads to provide shade in the heat.

We saw: The outside of the Catedral Primada Santa María de Toledo, dating from the thirteenth century. The Santa María la Blanca “The Congregational Synagogue of Toledo” is now a museum. The Synagogue of El Transito, another museum that used to be a Synagogue, it was the Jewish Quarter. You knew it was the jewish quarter because on the ground you would see markers that said that. A bunch of other buildings as well that I can’t recall their names of.

We also saw the Puerta del Sol, a city gate of Toledo, Spain, built in the late 14th century by the Knights Hospitaller.

To get to the bus we had to cross the Puente de Alcántara. Located at the feet of the Castillo de San Servando, it was built by the Romans after they founded the city. In the Middle Ages it was one of the few entrances of the pilgrim into the city.

Then it was an hour and a half drive to Madrid. In Madrid we put on our finest, and went to the square where we started our whole adventure and had an amazing steak dinner. We watched the sun set and the sky turn purple before we headed out to the clubs. The clubs in Madrid are a lot of fun. We got into the “best club in Madrid” no idea if that is true, but thats ok. It was fun, there were confetti cannons, clod air jets and perfume blasts. There was a live DJ, and girls in costumes dancing. We stayed out until 4 am in true Madrid style.

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