Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 111: Tentin' in Toledo

Ross Roamed into Toledo right before sunset. Leaving Madrid was bitter sweet. I was excited to see a new place but I will miss the friends that I made there. Exiting Toledo's bus station, I was eager to explore a new city.

I was immediately greeted by a steep hill that I wheezed up, carrying my pack on my back. If 18 kilos is the weight of freedom – so be it. Once I reached the top, I came upon Toledo's main square, lined with all sorts of shops selling swords, fancy cakes, and marzipan (which I regret not trying). I decided to make the best use of the remaining light and set off wandering Toledo's small streets.

Toledo's beautiful cathedral.
I've never seen cakes like this. They must be unique to Toledo.

Toledo is a spectacular gem of a town. It is built upon a hill so walking around is a pleasure because between the buildings you can catch glimpses overlooking the rest of the town. I could feel the history of the buildings noticing signs of Toledo's hundreds of years of inhabitation. I am fascinated how towns that were built so long ago can still meet our modern needs.

I think I'll get this photo framed.

Due to its small size, Toledo is easy to explore in a day or two, but everywhere I went was rich with history and life. When it got dark I returned to the main square to hunker down at McDonalds and contact my host. As I logged onto CS I was surprised to see that after his acceptance message he had not provided me with any address. Borp. Long story short, he did not respond. I set off in search of a place to sleep.

There were a metric ton of stray cats all over Toledo.

The bridge connecting Toledo's two hills.
A tower to protect the city.

I walked down the hill and crossed the river, hoping there would be grass on the other side. I hiked up the other hill to find a military base. The Spanish military were none too happy when I tried wandering into their parking lot. I followed the road for a kilometer or two. Exploring Toledo with my pack had sapped all my energy and I was ready to crash. Luckily I found a park with a bunch of trees where I rolled out my sleeping bag and closed my eyes.

Waking up in Toledo.
Friendly signs, compliments of the military!

The next morning I was happy to wake up without having been attacked by bears or bums. Sleeping outside is nice. I packed my stuff, explored the park a bit, and headed back into town. After a nice breakfast of chocolate con churros I began wandering again. While exploring the day before I saw that there was another hill next to Toledo that offered killer views of the city. I headed through the old Jewish quarter, across the river, and to the hills. Thankfully all my walking was well worth it because it was a beautiful day and Toledo is rather photogenic.

Toledo's castle is its highest point.
Hungover steps.
Narrow streets, rich with history.
Roman ruins along the river.
Romeo and Juliet moved to Toledo.
A cool looking inside of a building.
These men are either scientists, doctors, or butchers.
Lush growth along the river's banks.
I love rivers.
The cherry trees were just finishing blooming.
Ross hanging out with Toledo.
Close up of the skyline.
The bridge that I crossed the night before.
Lola would have loved these lizards.
Leaving my mark!

Before I left (or tried to leave) Toledo, I meditated under a tree overlooking the city. Determined to hitch hike to Córdoba, I walked to a spot that I found on Google Maps that I thought would be good. I found an ideal spot, right before the highway with plenty of room for cars to pull over and started dancing. I danced and I danced for two hours; waving my sign and looking like a lunatic. Despite many smiles and much laughter no one was stopping. Frack! I wandered to the other highway entrance but there was no where to catch a ride. My first spot was my only option. I returned, with only an hour of daylight left. I made another sign and resumed my shtick. By some luck I caught a ride within thirty minutes. They took me to the main highway that headed South to Córdoba.

My road-side home for the next two days...

Hitch hiking from Toledo to Córdoba would be ridiculous. Little did I know what the next few days had in store for me. I thought that hitch hiking to Barcelona from Tolouse was difficult – I had no clue...


 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails