6 Sep

So after we left Madrid, we set out for Toledo.

It was a relatively short bus ride (compared to the ride to Sevilla), and after we arrived we took a bus tour of the city, where we saw things like Toledo’s version of the BART (shout out to all you Wright-Staters!), and the most beautiful panoramic view I think I have ever seen.

These are my friends Jess and Savannah. 🙂

Our tour guide: Fernando!

After the bus tour, we walked up steep hills for hours. (Okay, maybe only like… 15 minutes, but it seemed so much longer. I still don’t think I’m used to all the walking that we do here.) We eventually headed to a beautiful ancient monastery. Our guide that took us around was really funny, and had some of the people in our group act out the story of the Kings and Queens. Also, he told us all about the history behind the symbols in all of the carvings  and other decorations. He described the flora and fauna (and the monkey sitting on a bedpan…)



Brief description of my favorites: Castles represent Castille and the Lions represent Leon, Castille y Leon. I can’t remember what the stripes stand for, but there are lions and eagles everywhere, and Granada, a city in southern Spain, has its symbol all over too: the pomegranate! (granada=pomegranate.) So, whenever the carvings depict something with the conquest of Granada, you will find pomegranates. Love that.

After that, we went to see one of el Greco’s most famous paintings. It was huge and beautiful and I don’t even remember the name of it, but I know that it was awesome!

Next, we headed to the huge Cathedral, which we just passed by basically. But it was cool and pretty and we took pictures. We also saw the Calle Toledo de Ohio (a ‘sister city’ to Toledo de España as Fernando explained).

After all that walking, they set us free to roam a bit and grab something to eat. We found a cute tapas bar and decided to eat there. I had a tomato salad that was absolutely amazing, but our waiter was kind of a punk. We didn’t have much time until we had to meet back, and all I wanted to try was carcamusas (a stew that Toledo is known for) and mazapan (a sweet yummy sugary thing that Toledo is known for). Alas, I got to try neither of the two, because shortly after we met back in the plaza we had to leave to go to the hotel, although after arriving to the hotel, I must say I wasn’t even that mad that I didn’t get to try the yummy foods.

The hotel was absolutely beautiful.

This is the pool we swam in before our meeting.

We had wifi at the hotel, so I got to talk to my family a bit, and to Adam for a bit. That was nice 🙂

Roommate and I looked around for cheap flights- we want to travel a lot.

This is the view from our balcony

We had a meeting with the ISA directors to go over how classes would go, what would happen when we met our host families, and general info about safety and our all day drive to Sevilla that was to come.

After the meeting, we were ravenous. Spain’s food schedule does not coincide with when my body wants food, i.e. all the time.

This is my Spain family. We are weird.

We walked across a beautiful bridge to find a supermarket that was open, but since the meeting took two and a half hours, nothing but a sketchy hole-in-the-wall supermarket run by a Chinese family was open. Fine. Being the college kids we are, we happily bought some bread meat and cheese, as well as some tinto de verano, wine, and a few other snacks, and we headed back to the hotel. The roof of the hotel. We had a rooftop dinner, looking out on the city of Toledo. Can you even imagine? It was the most beautiful thing. I love Spain.

More to come!! Love, Jess.


3 Responses to “Toledo”

  1. Madre September 6, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    Sleepy Sheepy pants! It sounds amazing. I hope you get to do many, many things while you are there. Keep a close eye on your budget though- money goes fast when you are having fun. Hope classes went well for you. Love you babe. Madre

  2. Emily H. September 6, 2011 at 4:43 pm #

    Hey sweetie! Looking at this just reminds me of when I was studying abroad… 🙂 I’m so excited for the awesome experience you’re having and glad to be living vicariously through you.

    Travel as when you can, but don’t forget to just relax in your own city and explore every now and then!!

    So glad you’re having a good time!

    Your personal nun

    • Jess September 7, 2011 at 8:32 am #

      That’s the plan! We want to travel, but we also just realized we’ve only been in a small part of our own city, let alone the country. 🙂
      Also, funny you commented. We climbed up to the top of the Giralda at the Sevilla Cathedral, and I took a picture of a pink parasol i saw below. In my head I definitely said, “My name is Marta and I’m going to be 8 on Tuesday and I want a pink parasol…” I miss you!!

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