Toledo was described as the closest place to heaven where angels and humans meet. A very nice description of the magical town of Toledo. Even with the many visitors from Madrid flooding Toledo every day, it is for sure one of our favourite places so far on our trip.
Unfortunately, everything did not start so nice due to an unpleasant experience on the Toldeo campground El Greco. When we arrived and decided for a spot for our caravan, we got greeted by a screaming dutch lady dressed in a bikini. She was very upset that we intended to camp close to them because we have kids and a dog. Her suggestion was for us to find another spot in some far corner of the campground. Our calm and kind reply was that if she has a problem she could move. Milo asked us why the lady don't like kids when she has been a kid by her self once. Kids are the best! Well, the lady moved at nine a clock in the night after nagging to her husband for several hours until he gave in (I guess this was not the first time), With "bikini lady" gone we could start to enjoy our time in Toledo.
When you are walking the streets of Toledo you can feel the history that has unfolded here for centuries. Toledo is mentioned for the first time by Roman historians about 59 BC when it belonged to the Roman empire. Pretty amazing. The city has also been the "literature capital" of the Iberic peninsula, the capital of Spain and an important nave for the Catholic church.
The best thing you can do is just to get lost in the countless of windy and narrow streets. Even the kids liked the mystery of the old and narrow streets. This way we found an old carpenter workshop. He told us that he was the third generation working in this shop, but now the history will end with him retiring in two years. There is no money in the business anymore so his son does not want to take over the trade. This “taller” (workshop) is a landmark for the people of Toledo and even the Spanish King had been here as he happily pointed out, showing us a picture of him shaking the Kings hand. When I asked him what he will do when he retires he told me that he will explore Toledo. He was born here and lived this whole life here, but still has not wondered all the winy streets of his town. Many of his retired friends are now doing the same, exploring all the streets and crossing them off the map one by one.
We could only cross off some streets during our explorations, including the cathedral with the altar decorated with gold from the times of the conquistadores. However, the saying is that the best time to see Toledo is when the sun has disappeared behind the mountains. Then another Toledo comes out with the magical shadows of the narrow streets. For this reason, I did an evening tour when the kids went to bed and Hardy wrote on the blog. It was an interesting tour, but many times I got lost when the guide talked about all the different writers and poets that had been inspired by Toledo.
The next day we explored the beautiful Toledo viewpoints and did some Geocaching. Geocaching has become a very popular activity for the kids and make them happily walk some extra kilometres. At the Mirador del Valle we left our first own travel bug - Familytravel-1 - that we hope will find the way back to Norsesund. The views from Mirador del Valle were stunning. A must when visiting Toledo. Afterwards, we had lunch in the Jewish quarters and wandered around this part of the town. I took the opportunity to buy a pocket knife made in Toledo. Toledo is very famous for its knife and making of blades. This originated already during the Roman time. For all the Lord of the Rings fans out there, the weapons for the movie were all made here. For now, however, I only bought a pocketknife.
We would have stayed a few more days, but since the next day promised rain we said goodbye to Toledo and promised to get back to continue to cross out the streets visited on the map.
What to do with kids and dog in Toledo:
- Just get lost in the countless windy streets
- Visit the cathedral
- Look for the carpenter's workshop :-)
- Visit this playground in the Jewish quarters with a nice view
- Night tour (when kids are sleeping) There are several but I booked with Cuentame Toledo
- A stroll along the river on the other side of the Puente de Alcantara
More pictures of Toledo in the picture gallery.