Today we were supposed to depart Madrid at 8:45 am. I say ‘supposed’ because we ran into a snafu… The bus sent in was short two seats. Our group went from 26 when we arrived in Madrid to 46 when we were leaving to Toledo. We swelled to over 60 while in Madrid. We left Madrid at 9:45 am.
The way to Toledo was pretty nondescript. Nothing exciting to look at until we approached the city itself. Surrounded by the Tajo River, it had the typical mid-evil town look to it, just brighter or sunnier. We had an opportunity to visit two of the old synagogues in Toledo. Both were built by Arabs and existed during the times when both Jews and Muslims cohabited the city in peace. So much peace that the Arabs, considered to be better architects, were commissioned for the construction of the synagogues.
We were only able to see the facade of the cathedral since it is Sunday and tourists aren’t allowed. However, we able to visit one of the four most important paintings, El Greco’s (1541-1614) ‘El Entiero del Senor Orgaz’. Learn more by visiting this site: www.santotome.org After our walking tour, we were allowed time for lunch and shopping before heading for Cordoba.
This is the area to shop for Damasquino, Talavera pottery and Maripanz. Our arrival in Cordoba was quite late. In fact, there was grumbling about the distance traveled. During our trip we had to make a stop (which I enjoyed) in La Mancha. The stop was necessary in order to change buses so we could have one with a water closet (bathroom).
Our stop was in the ‘shadow’ of three classic windmills. There was a small ‘Don Quijote’ rest stop with shops. There I purchased tiles I have seen along the way, but originate in this region that spell out our last name. My hope is that I don’t run into them at Home Depot! This area is also known for saffron (azafran).