If you think Madrid is hot, you have never been to Toledo. This is a peculiar city located on the top of a really big and high hill in the middle of La Sierra. While I was climbing the hill, walking up all the stairs under the hot Spanish Sun, I looked around and I had the feeling I was no more in Spain: I was in those arid states in the U.S., the only difference is that they are flats, Toledo is not.
I decided to devote my resting Saturday to visit the city, after a few colleagues suggested me to visit it before it was too hot. I clearly understand I was too late, but I guess the “before it gets too hot” could be applied only to the firsts months of the year. I took the Renfe, a direct train that in half an hour arrives to the station, at the bottom of the hill. I buckle down, bought some water and started the hike till the top.
Once I arrived there, I was happy that most of the city was covered by sheets, so that the sun would not torture the habitants and the tourists. On my way to the top I found the Puente de Alcántara, a bridge located over the Tajo river, built by the romans. Once I reached the city, I decided to rest in Plaza de Zocodover, a square where in the past there was the market and there were city parties such as the race of bulls. In addition, this square was relevant during the Spanish Inquisition, because there were executed the people suspected to be witches.
Once I rested, I decided to keep walking and I reached the Alcázar, the city old castle. The castles is located in the highest part of the city, so once I reached it I oculd finally say I walked up all the hill. This location was chosen for strategic and military reasons. Now it is a Museum of the Militar History. I kept walking and I reached the famous Cathedral. I did not go inside because the line was too long and the price was too high. Plus, Toledo is full of churches and synagogues. In fact this city is famous for being divided in three parts: a Catholic part, a Jewish part, and a Muslim part. Back to the Cathedral, it is a gothic building built with white stones, and it is possible to see the remaining of the primary building. In fact this cathedral was modified several times during the history.
Next to the Cathedral, there was a really lovely square, called Plaza del Ayuntamiento. It was covered by flowers and full of people. I decided to stay there for an hour, until my stomach started to ask for food. I ate in a restaurant next to the square, where unfortunately people had no clue how to cook a good hamburger and they really did not know what bacon was. I paid and kept wandering around the city, until I found the Termas Romanas,the Romans Baths.
After I decided I had enough of the Catholic part, I started exploring the Jewish part. First of all, I visited the Taller del Moro, a place that used to be a workshop where the city’s masons worked on the marble for Toledo’s great Cathedral. Today this place is the most important museum in the city. I walked until I reached the Sinagoga del Tránsito (Synagogue of El Transito), famous for its rich stucco decorations. It also hosts the Serafine Museum and a beautiful garden. Next to the synagogue, there is a part that hosts one of the most beautiful views on the river. I finished my tour visiting the Sinagoga de Santa María la Blanca (Synagogue of Santa María la Blanca).
Once I finished wandering around, I realized I made a huge mistake booking the 8 o’clok pm train back, because it is possible to visit all the places in four hours. I paid for my mistake by staying inside a McDonald’s reading my book and hoping that the time to leave would come before I ended the book. It didn’t.