Toledo and back to Madrid

Trip Start May 30, 2008
Trip End Nov 02, 2008

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Castile-La Mancha,
Thursday, July 10, 2008

On Sunday I once again headed out to the Pride festival and met up with my new spanish posse. They´re so much fun and they´ve completely taken me under their wing, looking after me. Its funny just how much can be communicated in body language, mime and laughter. After drinking far too many red wine and cokes (what the cool kids drink here) and dancing the night away, I stumbled off to bed. Woke the next day with the worst headache I´ve ever experienced. Was planning to go to Toledo, but couldn´t face anything but staying in bed for the whole morning. Went to the laundrymat then spent the afternoon chilling in the Jardin de Palace Real, gorgeous gardens surrounding the Kings palace, reading my book. Had an early night, thank god, then off to Toledo in the morning.
I think Toledo is the most confusing city I´ve ever been to in my entire life. It´s a giant walled city, so well preserved, filled with cobblestoned streets, winding allys, citiadels and monastries. After a few fruitless attempts at finding my way around I ended up chucking the map away and just wandering.
Toledo used to be the capital of Spain and was always the religious centre of the country and so the cathedral is beautiful. I spent a while inside, marvelling at its enormity and beauty. Made me laugh that in this ancient cathedral, instead of lighting candles and dropping your money in the box, you put a coin in a slot and a flickering light globe goes on for a few minutes. Not exactly traditional. Walked around the city in the 39 degree heat for a little while longer then piked out and headed home for a siesta.
Had another early night and got up for another walking tour in the morning. Really enjoyed learning about Spanish politics and history. Then had a little siesta in the Jardins Botanical, then headed to the Renia Sofia, to marvel at the modern artworks of the likes of Dali and Picasso.
Went to a café for a traditional Madrid drink of madroña, which is a liquor that tastes like a cross between chocolate and cognac. You take the shot out of a chocolate shotglass then eat the shotglass...mmm sugar and alcohol. Then my boys took me to a traditional bar where you get massive free plates of tapas with every drink you order. So we ate patatas bravas, tortilla, queso azu (crumbed deep fried blue cheese..yum!) then went out dancing in a drag club. So much fun.
Spent the morning mucking around getting my Spanish phone sorted and stuff organised for tomorrow, when I go on the pueblos ingles program for a week, staying here. Went to the welcome lunch today and ate paella with the other anglos who I´ll be spending the week with, then watched a flamenco guitar show. So, for the next 7 days I´ll be speaking English non-stop to 20 spaniards in a gorgeous mountain retreat, while getting fed 3 course meals with wine and sleeping in 4 star accommodation with my own room and bed. After sleeping in a dorm of 12 people, 6 of which who snore like machine guns, this will be heaven!
Wont be able to use the net next week and there´s no reception, so won´t be updating for a while. But if anyone is actually reading this blog (apart from you Mum), send me an email and let me know what´s going on in life where you are. Having a great time but haven´t forgotten you all (yet).
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timrie on

I'm looking fwd to Spain!

lind on

red wine and coke - no!
Enjoyed the update. I want the crumbed blue cheese tapas. Badly. x

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