Trip Start Sep 11, 2015
Trip End Oct 26, 2015

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Castile-La Mancha,
Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tuesday 15 September

After my disappointing time in Aranjuez I was happy to have found my way easily to Toledo. As recommended by my Airbnb hostess called Valle, I parked for free by the bus station and took a taxi to my apartment in central Toledo (which is draped over a steep hill). 
I was received warmly by Valle into a fantastic little private apartment, smack in the middle of all the action, but in a tiny side road, so that made it a very quiet place. 
Charming decorations, very complete and cozy, and an adorable outdoor patio that was all mine. 

I did an evening stroll through town. Very touristy but not in a bad way, and plenty of locals too. It made me feel like I could take pictures without feeling awkward whatsoever. 
I had a few beers on a nice outdoor terrace. Lots of good food and snacks, and marzipan. It appears to be a rich town (from tourism income?). Especially when compared to the rather sad Aranjuez I had been to earlier that day. Lots of buildings in Toledo are newly renovated. 

I discovered the mechanical escalators, you know the type you see in malls... but a set of about 7 of them one after the other! Nice way to 'climb the hill' (which the center is)! Valle had tried to explain them to me but after a long day I wasn't sure where to find them and I had preferred the taxi. But will take them on the way back down the hill. 

Wednesday 16 September

I knew it was going to rain in the afternoon, so got up reasonably early.  Bought some yoghurt, and the shop lady encouraged me to follow her to a local artisan food store across the road. 

1 pound tomato 
Lots of people were oohing and ahhh-ing over something… a basket of huge tomatoes for sale! I bought a 450 gram (1 pound) weighing tomato and it was one of the smallest in the basket! 
At the shop the people started chatting with me. 

I ate the tomato as small 'dinner' that evening with salt and olive oil, yummm very tasty.

 Toledo highlights and chat
Wandered past various highlights such as the bridge, visited a synagogue and the cathedral. 
Ran into a guy from the shop again, nice guy... He's been unemployed for 4 years now, he was an electrician. He trades pies and such that he bakes. Lots of his neighbors trade stuff.
He chatted about all kinds of things, how some centuries ago the Dutch blew up an island on which they had trapped Spaniards, and much more. :-)

I had a good lunch, €11 for three courses and a beer.

It started to rain, went back to the apartment to relax a bit. Found info about a spa and massage parlor, went to check it out (getting lost in the maze of zig zagging streets several times), but found it. The only opening for a massage they had that evening was right away. It turned out to be a tall handsome young Senegalese guy. As a masseur he was not great but not bad either.

Leonardo da Vinci
It rained harder after that, rivers were forming in the streets! But I wanted to see the exhibition about Leonardo da Vinci's inventions, the building had seemed so close by earlier that day, but through pouring rain it was quite a hike. I had my rain coat but my shoes already got soaked. 
But it was worth it, very nice exhibition and explanations, I must get a book and learn more about Leonardo!

Thursday 17 September 

This time I did not use a taxi but I walked from the apartment to Plaza Zocodóver and took the fantastic mechanical escalators down to the parking lot by the bus station, where my car was waiting. 
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